In Costa Rica, at least five medical centers are preparing to expand their current sites and construct new buildings in different areas of the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM).
A greater supply of insurance for medical expenses – without a doubt, the opening of the insurance market in 2008 which ended the monopoly that the state Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) held for 84 years – opened a door for private medical complexes to increase their clientele.
Another factor is the growth in population density in areas far from the center of the capital that explains the greater demand for private medical services in the country. Added to this is the greater culture of preventative health care that exists in the country, and the poor attention that is provided at the public level.
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For example, in December 2015 the total payment for health insurance premiums was US$106.7 million, increasing to US$144.6 million in December 2017, among the same eight insurers, that is, an increase of 35% in two years, according to the data published by the Superintendencia General de Seguros de Costa Rica (Sugese) – the insurance superintendent in the country.
The Sugese registers 13 insurance companies active in Costa Rica. Among them: Adisa, Assa and Pan American Life, which have health insurance or medical expenses plans.
Elfinancierocr.com reports that “… Hospital Universal, Clínica Unibe, Hospital Metropolitano, Hospital Clínica Bíblica and Hospital La Católica are some of the medical companies that have recently made investments or that plan to do so.”
The EF report indicates that the increase in people who live and work in Santa Ana, Heredia and Cartago has prompted private hospitals to invest in infrastructure.
For its part, the Hospital Clínica Bíblica plans to open three hospital complexes, one each in Santa Ana, Heredia and Tres Ríos west of Cartago) for a total investment of more than US$40 million. The Santa Ana project, the first open its doors by the end of 2018, at US$25 million is the largest of the Biblica investment. The others are in the horizon, expected to be completed in the next 24 to 60 months once the operation in Santa Ana begins.
In January the Universidad de Iberoamérica (Unibe) announced plans to build a medical tower of 50 offices and 3,000 square meters, together with its clinic in La Florida de Tibás, at an investment of US$3 million dollars and opening in 2019.
The Hospital Universal in Cartago recently expanded and modernized its facilities after an investment of US$2.3 million. This amount includes the construction of a building of 760 square meters, with an area for intensive care and more medical offices, as well as the remodeling of five rooms.
The Hospital Metropolitano in the course of 2016 and 2017 invested US$13.2 million in renovations, openings, and acquisitions, and plans to open two more clinics in 2018.
Both the Hospital Universal and Hospital Metropolitano each invested in the acquisition of a CT (Computed tomography scan) recently.
All the investments made by each of the hospitals, to attract and retain new clients, is not viewed with suspicion by the businessmen since they consider that for now the competition is healthy and that encourages them to constantly improve their operations.
Source (in Spanish): El Financiero Cr