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Forbes report reveals: Medical Tourism in Costa Rica reaches 8th position worldwide

August 27, 2014 Medical Tourism No Comments Email Email

Forbes reported on 19 August, that according to recent research performed by Frost & Sullivan, medical tourism in Costa Rica has made it to 8th place on the worldwide list of popular medical tourist destinations.

This is quite an achievement for a supposedly 3rd world country of population only 4.7 million and area of just 51,000 squared kilometres, who welcomed an incredible 2.4 million visitors in 2013.

The survey was based on volume of patients and on that basis Costa Rica was the highest ranked country closest by geographical location to the US and Canada. Countries which ranked higher are much greater travelling distance for the US or Canadian medical traveller – Thailand, Hungary, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines – with journey times of between 7 and 18 hours from Miami. Costa Rica is just  a convenient 2.5 hours direct flight from Miami. So if its quality, cost saving and proximity you are looking for, then medical tourism in Costa Rica is increasingly becoming a desirable option.

Costa Rica ranked above Brazil, Mexico and Columbia as the medical tourist destination of choice. Forbes predicts that an estimated 1.25 million Americans will travel outside the US for Medical Treatment this year, and Frost & Sullivan research predicts the medical tourism market at around $50billion to $65 billion in 2014 and growing at approximately 20 percent. So it would seem there is plenty of pie for everyone to choose their preferred destination.

Forbes also reports that medical travellers are increasingly taking their global healthcare options into their own hands. “Today with the globalisation of information and the empowerment of the consumer, medical tourism involves individuals acting as a consumer, making their own decisions regarding their health needs, deciphering how they can best be treated, and then finding the most appropriate provider”.

So back to Costa Rica and about the 3rd world country label..well you would be surprised. I recently welcomed a US medical tourism facilitator to the metropolis of Avenida Escazu, by the JCI accredited CIMA hospital in Escazu, San Jose. At just 30 minutes from San Jose International Airport (SJO), this beautiful commercial area is home to many US accredited medical facilities, as well as world renowned hotels such as Sheraton, Wyndham, Holiday Inn, Marriott, Intercontinental Hotel and home comforts such as Starbucks, PJ Chang, plus an IMAX movie theatre. All in a safe and modern pedestrianised area, where tourists and locals wander freely late into the evening. My companion who had just visited one of Costa Rica’s luxury US accredited dental clinics, dropped her jaw in wonder at the Avenida Escazu delights. I laughed as she exclaimed – “but I thought this was a third world country?!”

“Third world country, best kept secret! ” I quipped. Come see for yourselves what Costa Rica has to offer.

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