What to Expect - Nicaraguan Medical Practices

Nicaraguan medicine is not up to par with North American or European facilities. Managua is probably the only place that is able to handle emergency medical cases. Many towns have clinics and essential services, but if an emergency comes up, patients must be moved to the capital. There are large hospitals in every major region in the country.

Once an emergency occurs, the patient is to go to the closest facility that will admit patients. This is normally a public hospital, where conditions are deplorable and treatment regimens are almost non-existent. Private hospitals are more sanitary and offer a little better care, but almost all of them function on a cash-only basis, and you will not be brought to one unless you can prove that you, or someone with you,can provide cash. Credit cards are not a suitable method of compensation practically anyplace 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. Most contemporary medicines are not yet available in Nicaragua, so if you are taking prescription medicine make sure you take more than enough to hold you during your stay in the country. If you visit the east coast, be sure to receive an anti-malaria medicine both before and after your vacation to avoid getting the illness.

Lastly, don't presume your medical insurance plan will include care in a foreign country ; most will not. Check with your policy holder before you leave, and validate that your plan applies even though you are beyond the borders of the US. Also make sure it will include emergency medical procedures, transportation, and evacuation. Otherwise, acquire a supplemental plan before you leave.

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