Costa Rica

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by Old Rocks, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Health Care in Costa Rica
    Costa Rica Offers Good-Quality Health Care
    Costa Rica has universal health care, one of the best health systems in Latin America. As always with nationalized health care, expect red tape and long waits, but the quality of Costa Rica's health care is excellent. Private health care is also available, very affordable, and high quality. Many doctors speak English and have received training in Europe, Canada, or the U.S. There are three large, private hospitals that most expatriates use: CIMA hospital in Escazú, Clinica Biblica in San José, and Clinica Católica in San José-Guadalupe.

    Statistics from the World Health Organization frequently place Costa Rica in the top country rankings in the world for long life expectancy, often even ahead of Great Britain and the United States, even though the per-capita income of Costa Ricans is about one-tenth that of the U.S. and the U.K. Arguably, one reason for this is the slower pace of living in Costa Rica. And, of course, the healthy, fresh, non-preservative-laden foods found there, and the welcoming tropical climate. Costa Rica just seems to be a healthy place to live.

    Costa Rica's Government-Run Health Care System
    With a government-sponsored network of more than 30 hospitals and more than 250 clinics throughout the country, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) has primary responsibility for providing low-cost health care services to the Costa Rican populace. Although sometimes overburdened, this system has worked well for Costa Ricans for the past 60 or so years. Open not just to Costa Rican residents, the CCSS provides affordable medical service to any foreign resident or visitor. Foreigners living in Costa Rica can join the CCSS by paying a small monthly fee--based on income--or they can buy health insurance from the state monopoly Instituto de Seguro Nacional (INS), valid with over 200 affiliated doctors, hospitals, labs, and pharmacies in the private sector.


    Health Care in Costa Rica
     
  2. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Move to Costa Rica....Lots of Americans are doing it.
     
  3. Epsilon Delta
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    Epsilon Delta Jedi Master

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    Yeah, we do pretty well; all things considered. The current government has widely expanded the coverage regime; I think we have the widest coverage in all of the Americas south of Canada. Pension benefits have quadrupled for the elderly and the invalid in the past 3 years (the 'non-contributive regime'), and "EBAIS" [small semi-mobile clinics] have sprung up all over the place; I've attended to some of their inaugurations and it's incredible to see the reaction of the people living there, who are usually very poor, finally having local access to even basic health.

    Costa Rica's health care system is pretty unique and usually used as a prime example of how to deliver with as little money as possible as well as an example of how living standard improvement does not necessarily require extended growth to be reasonable achieved. The CCSS is basically a big health insurance company which covers 88% of the people in the country. People pay 9% income tax for full, life-time health coverage and pension. The CCSS is obligated to treat all patients and acquire all the medications they may need; for free, even if they are very expensive, specialized and brand-name medications.

    Obviously, the article doesn't talk too much about the numerous bad parts: The facts are that the system is not even close to the way it SHOULD be quite yet. Like most countries with government health care plans we experience long waiting lines and bottlenecks for attention. There is when private hospitals and clinics come in; they provide a sort of escape valve by taking in those who can pay off the waiting lines and free up space. The remoter provinces routinely have serious shortages of specialists; especially anesthesiologists at the moment, we need more expansion in training and infrastructure more than anything. But these are things that are always being improved, or at least trying to be improved. In any case, nobody in the country would consider taking down the CCSS. It's one of the best ideas past generations have brought along. And guess who instituted it? COMMUNISTS. Hahahaha.
     

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