Posts tagged: medical tourism

Doctor’s visit in Liberia

The crossroads in Liberia, fast food haven.

The crossroads in Liberia, fast food haven; photo by David W. Smith

In the hottest town in Costa Rica I saw a doctor about my ear problems. They’d been feeling plugged up for weeks. We were staying right in town, so I just wandered around and found Clinica San Rafael Arcangel, which looked clean and professional and had an air-conditioned waiting room.

A head and neck specialist (cirujano de cabeza y cuello) could see me that afternoon, so I paid my 30,000 colones (about $60) for the initial consultation, surprised at the high price. Costa Ricans I spoke with in the waiting room said they had paid the same for an initial consultations–it was worth it to them not to have to endure the long waits at the Caja, the national health care system.

I saw Dr. Carlos Granera Umana, who had trained in San Jose but relocated to Guanacaste early in his professional career. He liked everything about the place except the heat. “Stay inside in the middle of the day,” he counseled.

And the price?

“We’ve been charging that for years and are about ready to raise the prices. A lot of middle class professional have moved to Liberia from San Jose and for them, the rate is not an issue.”

Dr. Granera was kind and gentle and he managed to unplug one ear and make the other one a little better. I’ll check out more medical care in San Jose and David might see a dentist here.

Costa Rica-style directions to the Clinica San Rafael Archangel in Liberia:

from the Escuela Asucion Esquivel, go 100 metersĀ  East and then 75 South.

Telephone: 2666-1717