Medical Care while Traveling Nicaragua

Nicaraguan healthcare is not up to par with North American or European facilities. Managua is about the only area that can handle emergency medical cases. Many towns have doctors and essential services, however if an emergency comes up, patients must be brought to the capital. There are large hospitals in every major city 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 conditions are terrible and healing regimens are almost non-existent. Private hospitals are more sterile and provide a little better treatment, however many of them function 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 an acceptable form of payment practically anyplace for emergency services.

Tourists traveling to Nicaragua are counseled 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 certain you have more than enough to hold 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 prevent being affected by the illness.

In conclusion, don't expect your medical insurance policy will include care in a foreign country ; most will not. Check with your agent before you depart, and validate that your policy is valid even though you are outside the US. Also make sure it will cover emergency medical procedures, transportation, and evacuation. If not, get a supplemental plan before you go.

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