What to Expect - Nicaraguan Medical Practices

Nicaraguan medicine is not up to standard with North American or European facilities. Managua is about the only place that can handle emergency medical cases. Many towns have clinics and essential services, however if an emergency comes up, patients must be transported to the capital. There are big hospitals in every major city in the country.

When an emergency happens, the patient is to get to the closest facility that will admit patients. This is normally a public hospital, where conditions are deplorable and healing regimens are nearly non-existent. Private hospitals are more sanitary and provide a little better care, however many of them operate on a cash-only basis, and you will not be taken to one unless you can verify that you, or someone with you,can give cash. Credit cards are not an adequate method of payment practically anywhere for emergency services.

Tourists traveling to Nicaragua are recommended to be current with all of the vaccinations, especially Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies. A good number of contemporary medicines are not yet obtainable in Nicaragua, therefore if you are taking prescription medicine make sure you take extra to hold you through your visit in the country. If you travel to the east coast, make sure to take an anti-malaria medicine both before and after your trip to circumvent contracting the illness.

Finally, don't presume your medical insurance policy will cover you in a foreign country ; most will not. Confirm with your policy holder before you disembark, and validate that your policy is effective even though you are outside the US. Also validate that it will cover emergency medical procedures, transportation, and evacuation. If not, obtain a supplemental plan before you go.

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