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Aug 06 2015

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In the Mailbag – Healthcare in Costa Rica

Our newsletters and posts generate lots of discussion, on our website, in emails, and on facebook. Here’s a glimpse into our mailbag about healthcare in Costa Rica.

From Tom S.:

Thanks for the truthful and honest articles on the CAJA. All systems in all countries have had people with good and bad experiences, good for you to share yours. We have lived here 5 years, have used only CAJA the whole time, and have nothing but good to say about our doctors and treatment. My wife gets her yearly mammograms, goes in for a bone scan this week, I just had an echo-cardiogram, I go to a dermatologist specialist next week for a precancerous spot they found, and I have a visit with my internist and cardiologist every three and six months. I will say that, as with all things here, your experience is directly proportional to the amount of Spanish you speak.

From Diego X.:

I just rushed a Tico neighbor to the local Caja yesterday. It was clear to me that he was suffering from malignant hypertension which was severe enough to cause nosebleeds and angina. The Caja doctor was cavalier and said he had been hit in the nose (when there was no history of that) and not to worry. I warned the family that he was at risk for a stroke or heart attack and that they should go to the hospital. He was admitted last night with a heart attack.

My point? Not that the Caja is terrible. Just that there are always a few bad doctors anywhere. I’ve seen this in the US from time to time, too. Most doctors in most places are sincere and honest and caring. But like any profession, there’s a chance you’ll find a bad apple in the barrel.

From Charlotte L.:

The Caja saved us about $75,000 and most importantly saved my husband’s life. When a U.S. doctor, a few years later, saw the work, he said it was very well done. My Spanish is entertaining (not good) and I get along fine. So don’t let bad Spanish stop you from using the Caja. And too, when I got here I had some health issues that puzzled the U.S. doctors, for years, within just two appointments (private doctors) the problem was solved—-I was extremely allergic to pork and peanuts. Our doctors can see us privately or work with us through the caja—we think this is wonderful!

From Kat. B.:

Well….just had a GREAT experience with the medical services in Costa Rica. I had to have an endoscopy done last night. May I say…I was fairly nervous but my doctor and techs were very calming, gentle, and kind. My doctor was ‘present’. He listened to me, alleviated my fears, then did the procedure. It cost $120.00 U.S — private care and no co-pay. When we receive our residency we’ll contribute to CAJA. In the meantime, we’ll do private. Awesome, quality, personal care. Have I said I love living here?

From Connie S.:

There are some delays using the CAJA, compared to what most have been used to in the USA, but for us, it has been a great blessing. We moved here, in large part, for the health care system and have received excellent care. My husband has had cararact surgery for BOTH eyes, we get our prescriptions and medical visits and lab work done regularly, and also see dentists in the system, all without paying ANYTHING beyond our monthly premium.

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