Promoting Medical Tourism in Costa Rica
German companies are teaming up with the Council for International Promotion of Costa Rican Medicine to bring more training programs aimed at medical tourism.
Where Does Costa Rica Rank for Medical Tourism?
Costa Rica ranks in the top five of countries that are currently sought out in regards to medical tourism. Costa Rica falls behind Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel and Singapore respectively, and there is no reason that Costa Rica’s numbers couldn’t stand to improve. This is clearly what the PROMED (Council for International Promotion of Costa Rican Medicine) believes can happen, and it has partnered with the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ) to put together special training programs to be held in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala.
New Training Programs
These training programs and the connection with GIZ was originally conceived of in Costa Rica, so some 70 of the 110 companies involved in the coming training sessions will be from Costa Rica. Local businesses to be involved will be chosen from the areas of San Jose, Guanacaste, Nicoya, the Central Pacific, Los Santos and the Northern Zone. To choose who the beneficiaries of these training programs will be the Doctors and Surgeons Association, The Dentists Association, the Foreign Trade Promotions Office, the National Training Institute, the Foreign Ministry and the Labor Ministry will be choosing viable candidates.
Viable candidates will be assessed based on the criteria that they can provide services to foreign patients with only adequate levels of training, whereas some will be chosen based on their ability to demonstrate the ability to develop productive chains with other companies. In essence, a company that can develop ties to hotels, tour operators and other tourism related ventures thus making fully accommodated medical tour packages available will be those that are highly favored.
Growth in the Industry
PROMED sees a larger potential for growth in terms of medical tourism for Costa Rica, because the numbers are there in terms of interested parties. From the United States alone, it is estimated that people will spend nearly the same amount as 20% of the country’s gross domestic product on health services. Of those seeking health services, PROMED has calculated that there are nearly 40 million people, and that 1% of that population could be interested in procuring those health service in a place like Costa Rica. 1% is 400,000 people, and this year’s goal of attracting 100,000 medical tourists would mark 25% of that potential market if reached.