Nicaragua Travel: Basic & ER Medical Care

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

When an emergency happens, the patient is to go to the closest facility that will admit patients. This is usually a public hospital, where situations are deplorable and treatment regimens are nearly non-existent. Private hospitals are more sanitary and offer slightly better care, however almost all of them function on a cash-only basis, 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 method of compensation 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. A large amount of modern medicines are not yet obtainable in Nicaragua, thus if you are taking prescription medicine make certain you have extra to hold you through your stay in the country. If you go to the east coast, be positive to take an anti-malaria medicine both before and after your trip to prevent contracting the illness.

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

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