Many North Americans are discovering that Costa Rica is one of the very top destinations in the world for excellent health care.

As the cost of health care in the US keeps increasing, and the wait times in Canada grow ever longer, more Americans and Canadians than ever are seeking a place where they can obtain safe, affordable health care. It’s also vitally important for those who need care to find a place that offers the same quality that they would expect in their home country.

According to a study by InternationalLiving.com, an online magazine aimed at people who are interested in living abroad, Costa Rica offers the best care in Latin America and is the 2nd highest rated country in the world just behind Malaysia.

The study takes into account alternatives for US and Canadian citizens from the 24 top countries included in their 2017 Global Retirement Index. The main factors that the study evaluated were cost of healthcare, quality of hospitals, range of available medical specialties, and doctor training.

Costa Rica and its health care system are well known to many foreigners. At least 50,000 Americans live in the small Central American country and as many as 40,000 travel there each year for medical procedures. Both of these groups pay a fraction of what they’d pay in the US for doctor fees, surgeries, therapies, treatments, and medicine. Not only that, but the quality of the service, the equipment and materials, and the training of physicians, surgeons, and other specialists is on par with their American counterparts.

Costa Rica offers a network of private hospitals, clinics, physicians, and dentists that can match the best in the United States and Canada. Moreover, virtually every doctor that works in the private sector speaks English fluently, including mastering the vocabulary that’s pertinent to his or her area of specialization.

While more expensive than the Caja system (the public health care many Costa Ricans enjoy), private health care costs are universally modest. A visit to a doctor costs around $50 USD, whereas a specialist will charge between $80 and $100 USD. If you need surgery, you’ll pay from one quarter to one half of what you’d pay in the United States.

In addition to health care, Costa Rica offers a myriad of attractions for tourists. While the amount of sightseeing you’ll be able to do will depend on your condition and procedure, you should consider the opportunity to make a vacation of this trip if only to sit and watch the ocean from one of Costa Rica’s phenomenally beautiful beaches. From the museums and restaurants in the capital, to the country’s beautiful parks and nature, or if you prefer, just relaxing by the pool, there is always something fun to do in Costa Rica.


Going to Costa Rica for health care is a win-win situation for everyone. For the beautiful and warm people of Costa Rica, it creates jobs and generates income. For visitors and retirees alike, it offers high quality health care and an enviable lifestyle in this paradise world of Central America.