Medical Care while Traveling Nicaragua

Nicaraguan healthcare is not up to standard with North American or European facilities. Managua is probably the only place that can handle emergency medical cases. Many towns have physicians and basic care, however if an emergency arises, patients must be brought to the capital. There are big hospitals in every major region in the country.

As soon as an emergency happens, the patient is to get to the closest facility that will accept patients. This is usually a public hospital, where situations are terrible and treatment regimens are almost non-existent. Private hospitals are more sanitary and offer a little better treatment, however many of them work on a cash-only basis, and you will not be taken to one unless you can demonstrate that you, or someone with you,can pay in cash. Credit cards are not an adequate form of compensation practically anyplace for emergency services.

Visitors traveling to Nicaragua are recommended to be up to date with all of the vaccinations, especially Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies. A good number of current medicines are not yet available in Nicaragua, so if you are taking prescription medicine make sure you have extra to get you during your stay 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 avoid contracting the illness.

Lastly, don't presume your medical insurance policy will cover you in a foreign country ; most will not. Confirm with your carrier before you leave, and validate that your policy is valid during while you are beyond the borders of the US. Also make certain that it will cover emergency medical procedures, transportation, and evacuation. If not, acquire a supplemental plan before you go.

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