The United States' irrational health-care system, with its exclusion of about 37 million citizens from the ranks of
medically insured, is yet another reason people think favorably about living in a country where health care is not only
available, but affordable. In a United States hospital, patients with Medicare coverage usually pay far more just for their
deductible share than the total operation and hospital bill would cost in Costa Rica!
In the United States, should you visit the emergency room, the first thing they ask for is your hospitalization plan or credit
card. If you have neither, you could be told to get lost. In Costa Rica, when going to an emergency room in any
government hospital, there is no charge for resident, visitor, or even someone in the country illegally! This affordable medical
system is another of the benefits Costa Rica enjoys because there is no military to absorb resources. Statistics show that the
general level of care is equal to or superior to the United States. In fact, the United Nations recently noted that Costa Rica
is in first place in Latin America for development of preventive and curative medicine, ranking with the United States and
Canada among the 20 best in the world. Infant mortality is lower in Costa Rica than in the United States. The average life
expectancy is 74 years for men, about the same as in the United States, but far above other Latin American
Why is quality health care inexpensive in Costa Rica? A prominent physician (in private practice in San Jose) explained it this
way: "Here, our government considers medical care as a public service and obligation, just as it considers education
and highways a public responsibility. The government builds hospitals and trains medical specialists to serve the people, not as
a business. But in the United States, medical care is a profit-making industry, a big business where profits are maximized
to the highest point people can pay. Here, a doctor working for a government clinic earns between $800 and $2,000 a
month. In your country, where doctors work for profit, $20,000 a month is common. Some heart surgeons in the United
States will schedule five heart-bypass operations the same day. At $50,000 from each patient, this assembly-line practice
brings in $250,000 for one day's work!"
The doctor went on to .say, "Where there is no competition, medical specialists can charge what they like. But here
in Costa Rica, we have competition between our free, public hospitals and private clinics and private doctors such as myself.
We private doctors must keep our fees in line, or patients will go to free clinics."
back to previous page
- back to main information page
not hesitate to call us, it will be a pleasure serving
Tel:+1.888.365.0904 / +506.2637.0184
Costa Rica Time