Among the numerous reasons medical tourism in Costa Rica has grown significantly over the last few years, quality of care stands out as being among the most important. In the 21stcentury, a handful of nations have consistently ranked among the top countries for health care in terms of quality and affordability, and Costa Rica is the most attractive destination for North American medical travelers due to a very important factor: JCI accreditation.
JCI evaluations focus on the well-being, convenience, comfort, and safety of the patient. Inpatient facilities in Costa Rica that receive this coveted accreditation excel in providing physical security to patients and their loved ones who come to visit them. The evaluation criteria extends to the medical equipment used, the quality of the nutritional services, amenities such as upscale accommodations, cable television, secure Wi-Fi connections, playrooms for children, and the experience of the medical staff. The fact that many physicians in Costa Rica travel to JCI hospitals abroad for medical and language training speaks volumes about the country as a health tourism destination.
The accreditation of a hospital by the JCI extends to the physicians and smaller medical centers affiliated with the institution; for example, the CIMA Hospital in Guanacaste would only work with outside cosmetic surgery centers that meet the JCI requirements and standards of care.
In essence, JCI accreditation puts Costa Rica’s accredited institutions on par with hospitals in the United States that have been properly certified by the Joint Commission U.S.A., which is JCI’s parent organization; some of these hospitals include: New York Presbyterian, University of California San Diego Health System, Holy Cross, Auburn Community Hospital, and many more.
Costa Rica is already ranked as a top retirement destination by various publications such as International Living, and some of the factors that support that ranking include quality and affordability of health care. Although retirement and travel for medical purposes are related activities, they are not precisely the same.
For many people, medical tourism is a more practical and dynamic decision than retiring overseas. In the end, quality and affordable health care is what really matters to medical travelers; to this end, health tourists should ask their providers for more information and details about what JCI accreditation means to them.