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Are there any vaccinations I should get or other health precautions to take as I prepare for my move to your city?
The following are the recommended vaccinations for Costa Rica:
Hepatitis A -- recommended for all travelers over one year of age. It should be given at least two weeks (preferably four weeks or more) before departure. A booster should be given 6 – 12 months later to ensure long-term immunity.
Typhoid vaccine -- recommended for all travelers.
Hepatitis B vaccine -- recommended for travelers who will have intimate contact with local residents or potentially need blood transfusions or injections while abroad, especially if visiting for more than six months. It is also recommended for all healthcare personnel.
All travelers should be up-to-date on routine immunizations, including the tetanus-diphtheria vaccine (recommended for all travelers who have not received a tetanus-diphtheria immunization within the last 10 years) and measles vaccine (recommended for any traveler born after 1956 who does not have either a history of two documented measles immunizations or a blood test showing immunity).
Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine -- recommended for any international traveler over one year of age who does not have either a history of documented chicken pox or a blood test showing immunity.
Please consult your doctor before traveling to Costa Rica.
Before I get sick, what should I know about seeking medical care in your city as an expat?
Make sure your health insurance covers you for medical expenses abroad. If not, you must have national health insurance. INS (local insurance company) handles most types of insurance, but there are several international insurance carriers that offer far more robust health insurance policies.
What is the word for "doctor" in the local language?
In Spanish, "doctor" is also "doctor."
What is the best way to locate a suitable health care provider?
Costa Rican friends, neighbors and co-workers are good sources for finding the right doctor for yourself and your family. If you don't speak Spanish, it is recommended that you choose a private hospital such as Hospital CIMA or Hospital La Catolica, where the doctors and nurses speak English. Please feel free to contact the Crown staff in San Jose for help with this.
Do expats in the area tend to leave the city/area/country to seek medical care? If so, why and where do they go?
Most expats are able to find good medical care in San Jose. However, some who plan trips back to their home country, feel more comfortable visiting their regular doctor while there.
What is the number to call to summon help in an emergency? List medical/fire/police.
The emergency number in Costa Rica is 911 (like the U.S.) for all emergency services.
What do I do if there's an emergency in the middle of the night—or at another time when my normal doctor/clinic is unavailable?
Most public and private hospitals are open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. For a medical emergency, call:
Red Cross Ambulance - 128 or 911, or 2221-5818
Poison Center - 2223-1028
Hospital Mexico - 2232-6122
Hospital Clinica Biblica - 2257-0466
Hospital Nacional de Ninos - 2222-0122
How will I recognize a pharmacy? What is it called in the local language?
Pharmacies in Costa Rica are called "farmacias" and most of them are located in major supermarkets, shopping centers and on most main avenues.
Is the water safe to drink?
In Costa Rica, you can drink from the tap, but you're advised to drink bottled water as your body might reject the different water texture.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.