Private Hospitals

Private hospitals are often referred to as private clinics even if they are large. Private clinics are usually newer, flashier and have nicer accommodations. Prices in a private clinic are usually out of reach for the average Costa Rican. Usually only middle to upper income class Costa Ricans are able to use private clinics. However, for someone coming from North America the prices are usually much lower than expected or prices paid in their home country.

Private consultations usually start at around $50. This is sometimes the same or less than what a persons co-pay is in North America. Please check out our doctors section for more details on doctors.  Many of the doctors who work in the private sector also are required to work in the public sector.

A day in one of these hospitals could run around $200 with a private room and bathroom, if one is willing to share with one other person this could drop to $100 a day. Having a baby could run between $3000 and $5000 with complications, whereas in North America without insurance it will easily cost between $20,000 and $30,000. The private hospital food is even superior to that of hospitals in North America.

Never fear though, with private clinics, many North American insurance providers try and work with these institutions and visa versa. Check if one's insurance  policy from their home country will cover the services wanted and needed at the clinic one would like to use.

Visitation is more open than in public facilities. Patiente can even have a guest stay with you around the clock if desirred. Even though they are more expensive than public care many foreigners feel more comfortable using them because of what they offer and their bilingual staff. Interestingly enough, in the event that a patient use a private clinic and something goes wrong with a treatment or procedure they will be immediately sent to the nearest public facility where some of the best doctors and equiptment are.

The four main private facilities are the:

1) Clinica Catolica: is located in Guadalupe in front of the Tribunales de Justicia. It was founded in 1952. Although in recent years the Clinica Catolica has been noted as a clean yet basic facility run by nuns, over the past few years they have been expanding and have done a complete makeover. Now it is a 5 star hospital which is better, newer, and nicer than the majority of hospitals in North America. They are now almost completely geared towards foreigners with their flashy modern website in English. It is not just a hospital but a hotel also. The hospital does maternity as well as a variety of other surgeries, and also cosmetic surgery or medical tourism.

Since the primary goal of this hospital is not to make a profit, and they do not have outside investors to entertain, they often reinvest in the clinic which is how it most recently got a facelift. The Clinica Catolica is usually one of the more affordable clinics offering a variety of options and payment plans. You can select from private rooms, or shared rooms which are less expensive.

Thw Clinica Catolica is affiliated with the Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical center out of Louisiana and has ties with Global Medical Management Inc., Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc., and the Administrative Network of Americas International Hospital Service Network. They also have JCI accrediation.

2) Clinica Biblica: is located on the Calle Central between Avenida 14 and 16. It was founded in 1929 by the British Christian Missionaries. This is a massive establishment taking up a whole city block in the center of San Jose. Despite its obvious religious beginnings, it has a chapel but other than that it is a first class medical facility. They are even dedicated to trying to save the environment. They offer just about every type of specialist under the sun. Their two strongest services are cardiology and maternity, almost 140 babies are delivered here each month.

In 2006, they opened a new wing with 9 new operating rooms and 25 new private patient suites. You will see flat screen TVs and there is even Wifi. The old wing has 80 beds, 16 exam rooms, 5 operating rooms, all with modern equipment for any type of emergency.

Patients can get quotes for your care online, just be careful because "additional" items such as medications and surgical supplies many not be included and could be an extra expense tacked on later. Make sure to ask in depth, good questions.

They also have JCI accrediation.

3) Clinica Santa Rita: is located near Los Tribunales de San Jose. It was founded in 1945. This is a smaller establishment in comparison to the other clinics on the list. This clinic specializes in maternity mainly, women's illnesses, and cosmetic surgery. If looking to have a baby it is one of the most affordable private clinics.

4) CIMA (Centro Internacional de Medicina): is located just off the highway on your way to Escazu. It recently opened in 2000. It is by far the most impressive, modern, and newest facility is CIMA Hospital in all of Costa Rica.  CIMA is simply fancy with its artwork, they even hire a professional decorator to update and for holidays every once in awhile. If looking for care and facilities that look similar to what you are used to in North America CIMA is a close second.

Of course these 5 star, spotless, facilities perform all types of services with modern equipment.  CIMA has over 500 physicians accredited in over 60 specialties, trained in the world’s best universities.  They provide literally everything under the sun just like Clinica Biblica and Catolica. They do not per say have a specialty unless we include attracting wealthy Costa Ricans and foreigners in need or want of medical care. CIMA tries very hard to keep its prices within 10% of the competition.

CIMA is somewhat of a chain hospital with locations in Mexico, Brazil, and up to 8 other locations in Latin America and is also affiliated with Baylor University in Dallas Texas. They also have JCI accrediation.

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