Cosmetic Vacations in Costa Rica
Safe, High-Quality Plastic Surgery at a Lower Cost
Rising healthcare costs, minimal insurance coverage, lack of health insurance or interest in an elective procedure that simply isn't covered by insurance are some of the reasons why, each day, more and more Americans are choosing to travel abroad for medical care.
When considering travelling outside the United States for cosmetic surgery, cost is undoubtedly the main factor people take into account, given that generally a facelift, breast enlargement, tummy tuck, liposuction, etc., will cost only a fraction of what it would in the US. Even when travelers combine health with recreation and extend their stay to enjoy some regular tourist activities, in most cases the price for the whole cosmetic vacation package, including airfare, will still be lower than that of the procedure alone back home.
However, given that cosmetic surgery is still surgery, money and a chance for fun in the sun can't and shouldn't be the only considerations. Quality of care and surgical results, skill and experience of the surgeon, patient safety, quality of the medical facilities and equipment, and up-to-date procedures and techniques must also factor in the decision-making process.
Long known as a top eco-tourism destination because of its beautiful beaches, lush mountains, dense rainforests, majestic volcanoes and rich wildlife, Costa Rica meets all the above criteria and more, which has allowed it to also become one of the premier medical travel destinations in the world.
According to the Costa Rican Tourism Board, about 14% of all visitors travel to Costa Rica to receive medical care, especially dental work and plastic surgery, which is performed mostly in internationally accredited private hospitals by Costa Rican plastic surgeons, many of whom have received training in renowned universities abroad.
Costa Rica's proximity to the US, favorable exchange rate, the friendliness of its people and tropical climate are a few of the advantages this Central American paradise presents to its visitors. Add to these the availability of certified, highly trained and skilled surgeons, top-notch hospitals outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, and one of the most stable and robust democracies in Latin America; and it's easy to see why Costa Rica is a smart, safe and convenient alternative for the medical traveler.
Medical Tourism Stats
According to the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions' 2008 report, Medical Tourism: Consumers in Search of Value, 750,000 Americans traveled abroad for medical care in 2007.
The report also states that with a projected sustainable annual growth of 35%, the number could reach upwards of 1.6 million by 2012.
Healthcare System Ranking
According to the WHO’s World Health Report 2000, Health systems: Improving performance, Costa Rica's healthcare system is ranked 36 out of 191 countries, third in Latin America and one place above the United States.
U.N. Vital Stats
According to the latest data of the United Nations Statistics Division, Costa Rica has a low infant mortality rate and a high life expectancy, with both statistics being comparable to those of the United States.
Two of the hospitals Dr. Fournier operates in, Hospital Clinica Biblica and Hospital CIMA, are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the international division of Joint Commission Resources, a private, not-for-profit affiliate of The Joint Commission.
JCI extends The Joint Commission's mission worldwide by assisting international health care organizations, public health agencies, health ministries and others to improve the quality and safety of patient care in more than 80 countries.