The health system in Costa Rica summarized

The health system in Costa Rica is an efficient, quite complex system. It is quite renowned, and for the Costa Ricans, it is relieving support that is welcoming and prompt.

health system in Costa Rica

The health system in Costa Rica is an efficient order that Costa Ricans and ex-pats rely on, without any doubts.

Now, it is essential to understand it to know you can rely upon if, by any chance, something happens while you are traveling.

In the popular Jurassic Park book, Michael Crichton says:

 Costa Rica had one of the twenty best medical systems in the world, and even in this remote coastal village, the clinic was well maintained, amply supplied.”(1)

Costa Rican medical services are among the best in the World, and if you look at the birth mortality rate and other similar rates, you will notice that the system works well.

The Global Retirement Annual Index International ranks Costa Rica as one of the four countries that offer the best and most accessible health care in the world.

Some of the variables that affect these are:

  • cost and quality of care
  • number of inhabitants per doctor
  • number of beds per thousand inhabitants
  • infant mortality rate
  • life expectancy at birth
  • public health expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product.

Costa Rica has political stability and accessibility to health services as a result of the public investment that has been made, and the health system of Costa Rica has been rated as one of the best in Latin America.

health system in Costa Rica
Hospital México in San José- Retrieved from N.a. “Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social | Hospitales.” n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2020.

One of the aspects that stand out is the constant strengthening of the health services that are carried out as well as the improvement of infrastructure, equipment, and personnel training.

According to data provided by the Medical Management of the CCSS, one of the peculiarities of the Costa Rican health system is the network of services located throughout the national territory.

The CCSS has 29 hospitals, five of which are specialized, 5,547 beds, 103 health areas, and 1,014 essential equipment for comprehensive health care (Ebáis).

The EBAIS in the health system in Costa Rica

EBAIS is brief for Equipos Básicos de Atención Integral en Salud (Meaning in English: “Basic Teams of Global Health Care.”) The EBAIS is the first degree of medical care in Costa Rica.

health system in Costa Rica
Retrieved from N.a. “Bienvenidos a La Voz de Nosara.” 29 May 2018. Web. 25 Mar. 2020.

These clinics accommodate both preventative and primary health care to all the population of the community where the Ebais is located.

The care given by the Ebais has increased by 12% from 2005 to date, which has made it feasible to advance in the approachability of specialized medical services to the population.

The general objective of the health system of Costa Rica is to provide the population with a social production of health and to the use of resources to preserve sanity and improve the quality of life of the citizens.

health system in Costa Rica

Now, in Costa Rica, you may find several institutions that are part of the health system of Costa Rica:

  1. Ministry of Health (M.S.)

The ministry stewardships over the actors involved in the production by encouraging their active participation and the orientation of their actions towards development and improvement constant of the population’s health levels. It has the legal capacity to lead, execute, and regulate the political, technical, administrative aspects of the health in Costa Rica.

  1. Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS)

The Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social (CCSS) provides health services to the entire population following the principles of social security: solidarity, universality, unity, compulsion, equality, and equity.

Also, it provides economical protection and the insured population as well as the poor, in force on disability, old age, and death.

  1. National Insurance Institute (I.N.S.)

The INS protects the working population, through the Labor Risk Regime, providing medical, surgical, hospital care, medicines, and rehabilitation in case of an accident or illness while at work.

  1. Aqueducts and Sewers (A y A)

They are in charge of providing services related to the supply of safe water for human consumption and of the sewage and waste collection and treatment as well as the establishment of standards for liquid industrial systems.

  1. Universities and institutes in the health area

Train and educate professionals and technicians in the area of health, as well as carry out and participate in research and social action projects in the field of health.

  1. Private health services

Providing general health care services, including diagnosis and treatment. As well as to provide an option for travelers in the country.

These services are more expensive, of course, than the public medical system. However, still very affordable compared to U.S. standards.

  1. Municipalities

To offer services to the community that promotes the integral development of the towns, in harmony with national growth, especially related to the environmental practices.

  1. Communities

Engage, through organized groups, in the determination of health needs and priorities (situation analysis process (ASIS)), implementation of activities, guidance and control of resources and especially in the health self-care.

As you may already see, the health system of Costa Rica is a well- maintained machine that keeps a leading place in the region and even in the World.

The country has three JCI certified hospitals and many private hospitals. More doctors are also using the U.S. retired military insurance named Tricare Overseas.

Health system in Costa Rica

In Conclusion

The health system of Costa Rica is a well-oiled machine that has World-quality professionals and the most advanced technologies to attend our population.

As a small country with small cities and a tiny population, Costa Rica is still one of the healthiest and safest countries regarding emergencies. From hurricanes to pandemics.

And well! You also have amazing hotels, fantastic adventures, and the everlasting Costa Rican smiles, optimism, and the joyful “Pure Life” attitude.

Let us know when you are coming and we will make it happen!




Alejandro Zúñiga. “How accurately does “Jurassic Park” describe Costa Rica?.” The Tico Times, Costa Rica. 17 Feb. 2020. Web. 23 Mar. 2020. <>


N.a. “The World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s health systems, by Rank.” n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2020. <>


International Living. “The Best Healthcare and Healthcare Systems in the World 2020.” International Living. 21 Jan. 2020. Web. 23 Mar. 2020. <>


N.a. “.” 22 Oct. 2019. Web. 23 Mar. 2020. <>


María Isabel Solís Ramírez. “Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social | Blog.” n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2020. <>



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