What to Expect - Nicaraguan Medical Practices

Nicaraguan medicine 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 doctors and essential services, but if an emergency occurs, patients must be transported to the capital. There are large hospitals in every major region in the country.

When an emergency arises, the patient is to go to the closest facility that will receive patients. This is typically a public hospital, where situations are terrible and treatment routines are almost non-existent. Private hospitals are more sterile and provide a little better treatment, but almost all of them function on a cash-only basis, and you will not be taken to one unless you can prove that you, or someone with you,can provide cash. Credit cards are not a suitable form of payment nearly 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. A large amount of current medicines are not yet obtainable in Nicaragua, therefore if you are taking prescription medicine be certain you take more than enough to hold you during your stay in the country. If you go to the east coast, be sure to receive an anti-malaria medicine both before and after your visit to prevent getting the illness.

Lastly, don't assume your medical insurance policy will cover you in a foreign country ; many will not. Confirm with your policy holder before you disembark, and validate that your plan is valid even though you are outside the US. Also make certain that it will cover emergency medical procedures, transportation, and evacuation. Otherwise, obtain a supplemental plan before you depart.

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