So, you've decided to retire to Nicaragua? Now you want to
know what happens when you need medical care, where to go for
a health check or how to find an English speaking doctor or dentist.
Although Nicaraguas health infrastructure is poorly equipped in terms of nurses and hospital beds per capita, you will have no problem in finding modern private hospitals in the Managua area. Opened in 2004, the Vivian Pellas Hospital in Managua is considered to be the best in Central America.
Lori Estrada, owner of Nicaragua's premier orthopedic clinic (and who I have the pleasure to know personally) says: "It is easy to be a happy practicing physician in Nica- ragua. The low cost of health care is easily understood as we don’t have hours of paperwork to fill out and insurance head- aches to justify ordering routine exams that our patients require."
Other hospitals with modern equipment and often English
doctors are Hospital
Privado Salud Integral, Hospital Bautista, the
Military Hospital and the
Private Hospital Cocibolca in Granada. The further away
you get from
the capital and the other major cities, the more rare and rustic the
health services get.
Many Nicaragua doctors have been trained in the US, Mexico, Europe, Cuba or the Caribbean before taking their positions in Nicaragua. A doctor's visit usually costs between $10 and $30, and even if you have to spend the night in a hospital, a private room won't cost you more than $100.
Like in your home country, the best way to find a good doctor or dentist is to ask the people who've been here longer than you. Or you contact your embassy and ask them for their recommendation. The German Embassy for example provides an updated list of English and German speaking doctors, dentists and vets.
You'll find that healthcare in Nicaragua is of high quality and costs you much less than in the US or Europe. Emergency treatment in public hospitals is even free of charge. You only have to pay for the medication.
Still, if you retire to Nicaragua, you probably want to get some form of health insurance. I've seen positive reviews about IHI (International Health Insurance) and Bupa - seems that IHI is now partnering with Bupa. Their international site, bupainternational.com, offers a well designed form to get an online quote.
What I especially like is the option to save your quote and have it emailed to you. If you are anything like me, you want to compare some providers before signing a contract.
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