Top Medical Tourism Destinations in South and Central America

June 15, 2021

Brazil

As South America’s largest and wealthiest country, Brazil is an extremely popular medical tourist destination. Brazillian culture values aesthetics and personal appearance, and they have been at the forefront of cosmetic procedures for their own residents. It is the world’s second-highest plastic surgery market, second only to the U.S., with more than 4,000 licensed plastic surgeons. For comparison, the U.S. has about one thousand more. Popular aesthetic procedures here include breast augmentation and reduction, liposuction, dental implants, rhinoplasty, and buttock implants. 

Chile

Chile is the wealthiest country in South America per capita, although it is smaller in size and population than Brazil. It is politically stable and a founding member of the United Nations. There are two JCI-accredited hospitals in Chile’s capital city of Santiago, in addition to numerous private healthcare providers. Private practices are operated to the highest of standards, yet the care is still less expensive than when using insurance in the U.S. or Europe. Chile’s natural beauty and ecologically diverse landscape make it a stunning place to be as you recover from any procedure. Plastic and reconstructive surgeries are the most common medical tourism procedures including breast augmentation, face and body lift and tummy tuck. However, Chilean hospitals also offer medical tourists with top quality internal medicine, oncology, and neurology services among others.  

Panama

This small country links the Latin and South American regions and is another popular medical tourist destination. With the creation of the Panama Canal, this country became increasingly important as it linked eastern and western trade routes especially for the U.S. The U.S. still maintains strong diplomatic relations with Panama today. English is widely spoken, and the national currency is the U.S. dollar. Many doctors trained abroad in the U.S. or U.K., so you can expect high-quality standards of care at a price that is lower than in North America or Europe. Punta Pacifica Hospital is also the only South American medical facility to maintain a partnership with the prestigious John’s Hopkins University. The most popular procedures here are specialized surgeries, orthopedics, and in-vitro fertilization. Medical aesthetics and cosmetic surgeries are also popular. 

Costa Rica

Much like its neighbor Panama to the south, Costa Rica is a country brimming with opportunities for medical tourists. With cost savings between 40 to 60% for U.S. citizens and hundreds of miles of beautiful beachfront, it is easy to see why this land of sun and sand is so popular. Because Costa Rica also has a thriving leisure tourism market, you will find plenty of beautiful sights and entertainment as you recover. In fact, some hotels are set up as special outpatient recovery suites with around-the-clock access to medical professionals, should you need them during your recovery. Most medical tourism in Costa Rica is centered on cosmetic surgery, with dental implants, breast augmentation, and facelifts topping the list.

Medical Tourism Insurance 

If you are planning a medical tourism trip to South America or another region of the globe, medical tourism insurance can help reduce your risk. Reach out today to learn more.

Posted in Latin America, Medical Tourism Destinations.