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Health Care in Puerto Viejo

Learn about the health system in Puerto Viejo: how it can and cannot be used by expats, nomads, retirees and others moving to and living in Puerto Viejo.
|-Health Care in Puerto Viejo

The healthcare system in Puerto Viejo, is a blend of public and private services. The public healthcare system, known as the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), provides comprehensive coverage to citizens and residents, while private healthcare offers an alternative for those seeking faster service or specialized care.

Costa Rica’s Healthcare System

The public healthcare system in Costa Rica, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), is available to all residents, including foreigners who have obtained residency status. However, for serious medical emergencies and major surgeries, many people recommend using private hospitals due to their higher standard of care and shorter wait times. Public hospitals in Puerto Viejo, like elsewhere in Costa Rica, can be crowded and have longer wait times. Foreigners, including expats and digital nomads, are allowed to use the public healthcare system if they have obtained residency and are paying into the system. However, many expats choose to use private hospitals for their healthcare needs. Private hospitals are generally well-equipped, with modern facilities and English-speaking staff.

Hospitals and Clinics for Expats in Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is a small town and does not have a major hospital. In case of emergencies or need for specialized care, expats typically travel to larger cities. Some of the recommended hospitals and clinics include:

  • Centro Medico Dr. Daya – A private clinic located in Limon, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes by car from Puerto Viejo.
  • Hospital Tony Facio – A public hospital located in Limon.
  • Clínica Bíblica – A private hospital located in San Jose, approximately 4 hours by car from Puerto Viejo.
  • Hospital CIMA – A private hospital also located in San Jose.

Emergency Services in Puerto Viejo

Emergency services are available in Puerto Viejo, including ambulance services. In case of an emergency, you can dial 911 for an ambulance. However, due to the town’s remote location, there can sometimes be delays in response times.

Health Insurance Companies in Puerto Viejo

There are several popular private health insurance companies in Puerto Viejo, including INS (Instituto Nacional de Seguros), the state-owned insurance company, and international insurers like BlueCross BlueShield and BUPA. Many expats and digital nomads choose to use these companies for their health insurance needs. However, some also opt for specialized expat health insurance providers, which offer coverage tailored to the needs of individuals living abroad.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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