CIMA Hospital

Cima Hospital San Jose
San José, Costa Rica
+506 208-1000 (main)


The CIMA Hospital is a large general hospital based in the Costa Rican capital, San Jose. The hospital is largely owned and run by the International Hospital Corporation, based in Dallas, and is affiliated with the Baylor University Medical Centre, also based in Dallas. The hospital itself is a large general facility in the capital, San Jose, and offers most of the services expected in a major hospital. The facility opened in 1999 and performs a wide range of surgeries and operations as well as undertaking valuable research work.1,2

The hospital’s own website1 is mainly in Spanish so information has to be gathered from the site of the hospital’s parent company in Dallas. According to a press release, from 2004, the facility had treated 500 000 patients since opening and had performed over 11 000 surgeries. It stated that costs are 40-50% cheaper than in the US and that CIMA has an ongoing pricing policy to ensure that its prices are kept in line with other, similar, Costa Rican facilities.2

The services offered are varied bearing in mind that CIMA Hospital is mainly a general hospital for Costa Ricans, possessing a modern ER and trauma department as well as an extensive maternity wing. Other services include chemotherapy, radiology, haemodialysis, physiotherapy, orthopedics, urology, dentistry and plastic surgery. This last department is very modern and offers most procedures including breast augmentation, face-lifts, liposuction, rhinoplasty and abdominoplasty.2

CIMA Hospital does cater for the international patient; many of the doctors, surgeons and nurses speak English and there is an international insurance department for US and European patients. This department helps overseas patients to liaise with their insurance companies and will also help them fill in any claims forms.2 The hospital is currently building a floor specifically for International Medical Tourists and this will have its own English speaking staff, a computer room, recovery suites and WiFi access.3 The hospital management also stated that, in recent years, the number of international patients seeking standard medical procedures has overtaken the number of those seeking plastic surgery operations.3

There is no specific information on prices in CIMA Hospital’s own literature but other sources reveal that costs are reasonable. One patient paid $6 for an antibiotic pill which would have cost $18 in the US4, another (2003 prices) paid $8 000 for full body liposuction including nursing, 2 weeks rehabilitation, massage and meals; the surgery alone would have cost this much in the US.7 A facelift patient, in 2003, paid an all-inclusive $6 000 as opposed to $20 000 in the US.6 For health surgery, a heart bypass cost $24 000 as instead of the $130 000 required in America.7

On the whole, the reviews of the hospital are very positive for surgery, with most praising the excellent doctors, the modern facilities, the nursing staff and the aftercare received. All agreed that the surroundings and the countryside are outstanding, making the recovery process a much more bearable.5 It would seem that the facility is excellent both for those seeking surgery and for those needing emergency treatment whilst vacationing in Costa Rica.



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