Costa Rica Looking At Medical Tourism and Conventions As The Future

April 11, 2012 1:27 pm

Reposted By: Jesse Montgomery, from Inside Costa Rica

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The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) has awakened to the fact that “eco tourism” is not enough to attract foreign visitors to Costa Rica and will now focused on promoting medical tourism and conventions.

The head of the ICT, Allan Flores, says that the investment inpromoting the services is key to attracting new markets.

Costa Rica is well known as a green destination par excellence and the economy around the eco tourism has been well developed and will remain, however, the country has to look beyond that, according to Flores.

To achieve the goal of attracting new markets the ICT will be represented in at least seven international tourism fairs.

According to the ICT, in 2011 medical tourism generated some us$288 million dollars in revenue.

Costa Rica’s popularity in the medical tourism industry has been growing steadily over the years. Currently there are 3 Joint Commission International accredited (JCI) Hospitals all of which are currently located in San José. Recently announced by JCI accredited Clinica Biblica, is a us$40 million dollar hospital in Guanacaste designed to target the influx of medical tourism arriving in the Liberia International airport every year. This will make for a total of over six major private hospitals and 22 public hospitals.

When the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked the world’s health systems in the year 2000, Costa Rica was ranked as no. 36, which was higher than the U.S., and together with Dominica it dominated the list amongst the Central American countries.

Costa Rica offers these levels of care ranging from Intermediate Life Saving capabilities, Complex Life Saving Treatment Capabilities, Advanced Life Savings Treatment Capabilities, and Life Style Treatment Services (Full range of dental work and cosmetic surgery).

Costa Rica’s proximity to the U.S. helps attract over 20.000 U.S. patients a year. The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, in their 2009 report ”Medical Tourism Consumers in Search of Value” reported cost savings average of between 30-70% of US prices.

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