Public or private doctors
The public health system in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has a sponsored network of hospitals and clinics throughout the country. The CajaCostarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) has primary responsibility for providing affordable health care to the people of Costa Rica.
Caja has 30 public hospitals. Most of the major hospitals are located in and around the capital, San Jose, as this is where the majority of the country’s population lives. And they have 250 clinics across the country, as well as 1,000 smaller “attention units” called EBAIS, which cover all rural areas.
For foreigners who live in Costa Rica and are legal residents, they can join the CCSS and be able to receive national health care through only one of the residency programs (Pensionado, Rentista or Inversionista). However, they have to pay a small monthly fee – depending on income. But tourists and visitors can only use Caja’s facilities in case of emergency.
Those who want to obtain a residence permit must definitely become members of Caja. The monthly payment ranges could be from 7% to 11% of the applicant’s monthly income. The dependent spouse is also covered by insurance and can join Caja as part of this payment.
The private healthcare system in Costa Rica
Many highly qualified doctors in Costa Rica, as well as some dentists, work at CCSS in the morning and open their own offices and clinics during the day and evening. Although private healthcare in Costa Rica is more expensive than what the same doctors and surgeons offer through CCSS, the cost is much lower than the average US doctor visit.
Dental services are also provided at a much lower cost than in the United States. For this reason, such a phenomenon as “medical tourism” has emerged. Knee replacement, hip replacement and cosmetic surgery are some of the most popular procedures performed in Costa Rica. Implants and teeth whitening are popular in dentistry. Many patients find that the entire cost of travel to Costa Rica (including vacation before or after treatment), including the procedure, is much cheaper than in the United States.
There are a large number of private clinics throughout the country serving immigrants on popular beaches and in the central highlands away from San Jose. Most private pharmacies also have a licensed doctor. In addition, some clinics only offer emergency care, but others have several doctors in the state who can perform x-rays, blood tests, outpatient care, and other types of wellness care.
In Costa Rica, many immigrants choose to use a mix of public and private clinics. For example, if a Caja doctor asks for an ultrasound, but the Caja testing center has a waiting time of a couple of weeks, the patient can take the test at a private clinic and return the results to the Caja doctor. In addition, many private doctors who also work in the government system can write prescriptions at Caja pharmacies so that the patient does not have to pay.
Finding a good dentist in Costa Rica is not difficult.
You can search the Internet, ask other people, or visit the official Costa Rica medical association or the official Costa Rica dental association.
You can follow the links below and select the doctor you are interested in: