How Does Medical Care in Costa Rica Compare to Other Countries?

San Rafael Hospital LiberiaCosta Rica provides excellent medical care services at a much lower cost than the United States, making it a popular choice for medical tourism. People come here for a variety of procedures, such as cosmetic surgery and joint replacements like hip and knee surgeries. Dental care is also top-notch and affordable.

Why Choose Costa Rica for Medical Care?

1. Accreditation: Hospitals and clinics in Costa Rica have earned international accreditation from respected U.S. agencies like JCI, AAAHC, and AAAASF. This means they meet high standards for medical care.

2. Patient-Centric: Medical and dental providers in Costa Rica use advanced technologies while focusing on personalized and compassionate care. Patients are the priority, as seen in their positive reviews.

3. Easy Access: Traveling to Costa Rica for medical reasons is easy, with short flights from most U.S. cities. English is widely spoken, making communication hassle-free. Costa Rica's welcoming atmosphere and commitment to excellence make it a top destination for medical care.

4. Public Healthcare System: Costa Rica has a public healthcare system run by the CCSS, providing services to most citizens. It's funded through contributions from employers, employees, and the government.

5. Accessibility: Public healthcare services are readily available across the country, even in rural areas, with numerous clinics and hospitals.

6. Affordability: Public healthcare is designed to be affordable for residents, covering many essential services. However, some costs may apply for medications and non-essential procedures.

7. Quality of Care: Public hospitals and clinics generally offer good care, with well-trained staff and modern facilities. Service quality may vary between urban and rural areas.

8. Private Healthcare Sector: Costa Rica also has a thriving private healthcare sector for those seeking more personalized or specialized care. Private facilities often have state-of-the-art equipment and internationally trained professionals.

9. Expatriate and Medical Tourism: Costa Rica attracts medical tourists for various procedures, including dental work, cosmetic surgery, and elective surgeries.

10. Pharmaceuticals: Pharmacies are easily found in urban and rural areas, offering safe and high-quality medications.

11. Health Insurance: While public healthcare is available to all residents, some opt for private health insurance for additional services or quicker procedures. Expats and tourists may also choose private insurance for comprehensive coverage.


Despite its strengths, Costa Rica's healthcare system faces occasional long wait times for non-urgent procedures in the public sector, especially in rural areas.

Proximity to Medical Care in the Papagayo Region

The beautiful Papagayo region enhances Costa Rica's appeal for medical care. Just 25 minutes away in Liberia, you'll find three modern private clinics with advanced medical technology. Additionally, there's a high-end clinic in downtown Playas del Coco, ensuring easy access to medical care.

Local Hospitals and Clinics

  • Clinica Biblica – Liberia – 2667-0891
  • Hospital/Doctor Offices – San Rafael Arcangel – Liberia – 2666-1717
  • Coco Clinic 24 Hours/Dr. Hansel 2670-1235/8308-9986
  • Coco EBAIS Clinic – 2697-0987
  • Liberia Public Hospital – 2666-1016, 2666-0011
  • Sardinal EBAIS Clinic – 2697-0142
  • Ambulance Service – 2697-1141 or 911
  • Filadelfia Clinic – 2688-8276

Costa Rica's healthcare system is highly regarded, offering accessible and affordable care. The combination of a strong public system and a growing private sector contributes to the country's positive healthcare reputation. However, be aware of potential challenges and service variations, particularly in remote areas. For the most current information, consult official sources or local healthcare providers.

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