Costa Rica: data shows medical tourism recovery

Medical travel to Costa Rica is recovering. Data from the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) states that in 2019, medical tourism generated US$465 million for the country. In the first two quarters of 2022, it calculates income generated by medical tourism as US$56 million.

Trips for health reasons represent 13.4% of all visits to the country, according to data from the Tourism Satellite Account of the BCCR.

According to data from the Costa Rican Chamber of Health, more than 80% of visitors come from the United States and 10% from Canada. However, they are also increasingly visitors from Central American and Caribbean countries, particularly American expatriates working or retiring in these countries.

Dental treatments were the most sought after, at 42% of visits.  Other surgeries for orthopaedics, bariatric, cardiovascular, ophthalmology, and oncology constitute 22%; while preventive medicine was 16%, cosmetic surgery, 10%, and other medical expenses for pharmacy, rehabilitation, audiology, dermatology, and physiotherapy covered the remaining 10%.

Massimo Manzi of the Costa Rican Health Chamber stated he expects an even greater recovery in the second half of 2022 and better still in 2023.