I traveled last week to Costa Rice for what they call medical tourism. It all started out as a way to avoid the usurious fees of my local dentist to replace a cracked molar with a dental implant. I had been chewing on the other side of my mouth for over a year as I stubbornly refused to pay her $5000+ for an implant. Finally, Sleazeweasel told me about the cost and quality of medical procedures in Costa Rica, and I’m here to report that the trip saved me thousands of dollars and was done to US standards.
It turned out that a same-day implant was not feasible due to infection present, so the Tico dentist steered me toward a bridge instead. The latter was actually cheaper than the implant would have been. It is settling in nicely and I believe it will work fine after the soreness is gone.
Prices were so cheap that I had several other routine procedures performed while there. An electrocardiogram (EKG) cost $800 in Florida and $70 in Costa Rica. A colonoscopy cost $800 in Florida but only $350 in Costa Rica. A preventive rabies vaccination shot cost $250+ in Florida yet only $20 in Costa Rica. True, I had to have several prophylactic immunizations before going to that tropical, third world country, plus pay for air fare, lodging and food, but overall I saved approximately 60 percent of what the costs would have been here in Florida. I am sold on medical tourism, and don’t even care that my local docs are fuming at me over income lost.
Now imagine how much lower medical tourism costs will be when Cuba opens up! Hey Obama! Are you interested in out-of-the-box medical and insurance cost reductions? Then how about opening Cuba up to medical tourism?
I did a fair amount of due diligence prior to making the Costa Rican appointments. Tico doctors are aware of American reluctance to take chances with their bodies in the hands of foreign health professionals, so they take great pains to reveal on their websites such things as the names and alma maters of their doctors, the awards given to their hospitals, and so forth. Just search the Internet for “costa rica medical tourism” to see for yourself. I will definitely return for future medical work as needed, and heartily recommend medical tourism to anyone as disgusted as I am with US medical costs.
Incidentally, Tico dentists will rearrange their schedules for the convenience of your flight plans, you can literally walk into the clinics and get almost immediate attention for routine procedures such as mine, drug prescriptions are incredibly cheap and very quickly filled, most of the doctors and clinic administrators speak excellent English, and my clinic (Clinica Biblica) has a staff of English-speakers who ushered me around to make sure my poor Spanish language skills didn’t get me lost.
The attitude of Costa Rican health professionals is absolutely delightful! I never once encountered a doctor with an attitude problem, and you know what I mean. Often, when they had a few minutes to spare, they would come out in the lobby and sit down to answer any follow-on questions I might have had, or just to shoot the breeze with me. How laid-back is that?