Rising healthcare costs in the 1980s and 1990s lead patients to look overseas for more affordable options. The close proximity and high standard of care in Costa Rica began to attract medical tourists, especially for dental work. During this period, Americans began traveling to Central America to get dental work that was not covered by their insurance or that they could not afford.
Costa Rica’s medical tourism industry continued to grow. Today, Costa Rica is one of the most reliable, affordable and efficient countries for medical procedures. In 2011, San José, the capital of Costa Rica, registered 46,474 foreign patients. The number of medical tourists in Costa Rica is expected to continue rising. Nearly one-quarter of Americans now have passports and flights to Central America are more affordable than ever.
Costa Rica has high-quality doctors and dentists, many of whom were trained in the U. S. and are fluent in English. Although there are dentists and doctors throughout Costa Rica, the majority of procedures are carried out in San José. San José has the country’s best clinics and hospitals, including the CIMA, Católica and Bíblica hospitals.