What to Expect - Nicaraguan Medical Practices

Nicaraguan healthcare 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 physicians and essential services, however if an emergency arises, patients must be moved to the capital. There are big hospitals in every major city in the country.

When an emergency happens, the patient is to go to the closest facility that will receive patients. This is usually a public hospital, where situations are deplorable and healing regimens are almost non-existent. Private hospitals are cleaner and provide a touch better care, however many of them function on a cash-only foundation, 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 a suitable method of payment almost 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. Most modern medicines are not yet obtainable in Nicaragua, so if you are taking prescription medicine make sure you have more than enough to hold you through your stay in the country. If you visit the east coast, make sure to receive an anti-malaria medicine both before and after your trip to avoid getting the illness.

Lastly, don't presume your medical insurance plan will cover you in a foreign country ; many will not. Confirm with your policy holder before you disembark, and make sure that your policy is valid while you are outside the US. Also validate that it will include emergency medical procedures, transportation, and evacuation. If not, acquire a supplemental policy before you leave.

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