What to Expect - Nicaraguan Medical Practices

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

Once an emergency arises, the patient is to go to the nearest facility that will admit patients. This is normally a public hospital, where situations are deplorable and healing regimens are nearly non-existent. Private hospitals are more sanitary and provide slightly better care, however almost all of them work on a cash-only foundation, and you will not be brought to one unless you can verify that you, or someone with you,can provide cash. Credit cards are not an acceptable form of compensation almost anywhere for emergency services.

Visitors traveling to Nicaragua are advised to be current with all of the vaccinations, especially Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies. A good number of current medicines are not yet obtainable in Nicaragua, thus if you are taking prescription medicine make certain you have more than enough to get you through your visit in the country. If you visit the east coast, be sure to take an anti-malaria medicine both before and after your trip to circumvent being affected by the illness.

Finally, don't presume your medical insurance plan will include care in a foreign country ; many will not. Check with your carrier before you depart, and make sure that your policy applies even though you are outside the US. Also make sure it will include emergency medical procedures, transportation, and evacuation. If not, obtain a supplemental plan before you depart.

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