Rush Limbaugh the garrulous host of radio talk has taken a special interest in Costa Rica and rightly so. It is hard to argue with success and while the country is everlastingly beautiful and entertaining there are some hidden treasures and some very compelling reasons why practices in Costa Rica can offer such high quality service at such outstanding prices. Quality is not sacrificed here due to many differences in the way medical care and most importantly, malpractice is handled.
Malpractice here is not run of the mill, and huge lawsuits or malpractice insurance premiums are not exorbitant. Why? Malpractice in Costa Rica is a crime not subject to civil suits and endless litigation and high insurance premiums. If you are accused and judged to have committed malpractice in Costa Rica you go directly to jail, you do not pass go and you do not collect two hundred dollars.
The remarkable and some may say draconian standards set here in Costa Rica for all and every dental or medical practice, including dental tourism, has a very simple effect. Doctors are careful and patients cannot go after huge settlements because the courts do not impose punitive damages. In the states frivolous suits often go forward with the knowledge that most insurance companies will push a doctor to settle rather than go through a lengthy and costly trial. Most consumers are not aware that the insurance companies do not care how much they pay out. They will simply recalculate the premiums, and charge the doctor higher malpractice premium and the doctor will in turn pass the additional costs to the patient. This is an eminently common and vicious cycle. Did you know that an obstetrician in Florida must pay $200,000 dollars in malpractice insurance before they earn a dime for their practice?
The absence of this vicious cycle here keeps litigation and malpractice down to the point that dental travelers can save up to 70% on their dental procedures here in Costa Rica. However less litigation and lower insurance fees are not the whole story. There is a reason why the Joint Commission International (the preeminent medical care standards body in the world) has rated Costa Rica higher than the United States in overall quality of care. There is really no surprise why the “Ticos” remain the second longest lived peoples in the world. Making malpractice a criminal offense is a very potent force in keeping quality standards in medical care high and Costa Rica dental costs low.