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Medical Care while Traveling Nicaragua

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

When an emergency happens, the patient is to get to the nearest facility that will admit patients. This is normally a public hospital, where circumstances are terrible and healing regimens are nearly non-existent. Private hospitals are cleaner and provide slightly better care, however almost all of them work 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 a suitable method of payment nearly anyplace for emergency services.

Visitors traveling to Nicaragua are advised 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 offered in Nicaragua, thus if you are taking prescription medicine be sure you have more than enough to hold you through your stay in the country. If you visit the east coast, be positive to take an anti-malaria medicine both before and after your visit to prevent being affected by the illness.

Lastly, don't presume your medical insurance policy will cover you in a foreign country ; most will not. Check with your policy holder before you leave, and validate that your plan is valid while you are outside the US. Also validate that it will include emergency medical procedures, transportation, and evacuation. Otherwise, get a supplemental plan before you leave.

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