Costa Rica Health Care – Private vs. Public Clinics

Costa Rica Health Care - Private vs. Public Clinics

Not everything is always perfect. Although our trip to Cahuita was definitely up there in the high ranks, my son chose the most inopportune time to get sick.

On the way over to Cahuita in the car he started coughing a bit. I figured it would go away in time for him to enjoy the beach. But it didn’t!

On the contrary, it only got worse and worse until he was burning up with fever. He kept waking up in the middle of the night crying from a soar throat.

Not wanting to wait until we got back, I decided to find a private clinic.

I’ve lived in Costa Rica for almost six years. And have been told on numerous occasions about the horrors that go on in public city hospitals. So, I have never gone that route before and have only been to private doctors. Which, by the way, are fantastic.

So, after running around looking for a private solution, I had to accept the fact that they were all closed. My husband and I resigned to take my son to the public clinic.

The clinic was about 15 minutes from Cahuita and was squeaky clean. They requested my paperwork, but since I’m not a resident and had no formal documentation.

I was treated like a tourist. And luckily that meant we were able to see the next available doctor.

Costa Rica Health Care - Private vs. Public Clinics

Our experience couldn’t have been better. The doctor was fluent in English, amazing with kids, and extremely professional. We were so impressed that my father literally wanted to kiss him. He gave us a prescription to take to the clinic’s pharmacy.

When we asked how much we needed to pay, he answered, “The pleasure is all ours”.

Great medical service and medication for free? Being citizens of the United States, you can understand our surprise and absolute gratefulness for their generosity.

After this lovely experience, I have completely rethought my theory about their public health system.

Bottom line, if you do get sick in Costa Rica know that you are in good hands!

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Last Updated on September 21, 2023

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