Lonely Planet Writer

Central America to target medical tourists for treatment in the tropics

Life's a beach in El Salvador.
Life’s a beach in El Salvador. Image by Rene Mayorga / CC BY-SA 2.0

Tourists looking for medical services abroad with recovery time on the beach or in the mountains will soon be able to consider Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala for their trip. The German Cooperation Agency and Council for International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine (PROMED) are spearheading an initiative to invest in training and coaching programmes for local health service providers, hoping to help Central American countries cash in on medical tourists from overseas. In particular, the scheme is targeting people from the US, where 15 percent of the population do not have health insurance. As well as medical services, health service providers will also start to offer packages that include hotel accommodation, transport and tours for visitors to make the most of their recovery time. Costa Rica already attracted almost 50,000 medical tourists in 2011, according to PROMED. Read more: ticotimes.net