Nicaragua seeks to improve its position in the growing sub-sector of medical tourism, which generated $4.8 million in revenues in 2012 and is continuously growing each year, according to specialists.
In Central America, the country that has most developed its medical tourism is Costa Rica, where 100,000 tourists arrive each year seeking medical treatment and prevention, leaving more than $300 million in revenues, according to the study about health tourism market conducted by the investment consultants Calvet & Associates.
According to Raul F. Calvet, president of Calvet & Associates, Nicaragua could receive $27.2 million in 2020 in this type of tourism and the figure could reach $105.2 million by 2025. These projected revenues include charges for patients in lodging, food and tours for the patients’ visitors, said Calvet. According to the study, about 80 percent of medical-tourism patients travel accompanied by a family member or a friend.
Medical-tourism patients travel mainly to receive plastic surgery, orthodontics, ophthalmology, cancer treatment and general medicine.
Nicaragua already has a hospital certified by the Joint Commission International, which grants a prestigious accreditation that is recognized by medical tourism operators with a presence in the U.S., Canada and other developed countries.
The advantages of Nicaragua include low costs of medical services and direct flights to several cities in the U.S., where millions of central Americans reside, representing a high potential of tourists.
For Central America, the largest market for medical tourism is the U.S. due to its proximity and for being the largest spender on healthcare as a percentage of gross domestic product — with 16 percent.
PRONicaragua is the Nicaraguan Investment and Export Promotion Agency, established in 2002. It is a non-profit, public-private institution with a mission to generate economic growth and job creation in Nicaragua by attracting high-quality foreign direct investment. The agency provides complimentary support services to qualified investors seeking investment opportunities in our country. For further information, please contact us at (505) 2270-6400 or http://pronicaragua.org.