Costa Rica Health & Medical Services

Please crack my neck – the best chiropractor in Costa Rica

Please crack my neck – the best chiropractor in Costa Rica

How did I end up having my neck adjusted by the best chiropractor in Costa Rica? It took me years to find Dr. James D. McLellan in Santa Ana.

Now I visit Dr. Jim (506) 2282-3998 / 8702 -0172 just for maintenance, once in a while. When I don’t forget.

As a kid, I had a pretty bad car accident. Some stupid gene also gave me a long neck at birth. When I’d watch TV for example, I’d have to watch it straight ahead. If the TV was located higher than my head or at an angle it wouldn’t take 5 minutes to get a stiff neck. That stiff neck would turn into headaches and neck problems. I’d have the same problems using hotel pillows when travelling that didn’t give me the support of the Nikken magnetic pillow I use at home.

For years, had been going to several different chiropractor in Costa Rica. Some would adjust one side of my neck and tell me to come back for the other side the next day. Others would tell me to lie down in a relaxed position for 30 minutes before I was attended by the doctor. The adjustment would take 10 seconds and I’d get a nice bill.

Same sex couples in Costa Rica can now insure each other through CAJA

Same-sex couples in Costa Rica now Caja insured

Although Costa Rica is way behind on a few human right issues like the “in vitro” case, the CAJA has been able to make a huge change in their rules and regulations. 

On November 19, 2014, the CAJA (Social Security system in Costa Rica) has approved the proposal to reform article 10 of the Health Insurance regulation that changes the concept of partnership. With this change, same sex couples are included in the same conditions in medical services that heterosexual partners have.

This change is a huge advantage to same sex couples who plan to move to Costa Rica or are already living here. By Costarican immigration law, every foreigner who wants to be a Costa Rica resident needs to be registered at the CAJA showing his/her own income and each has to make the monthly CAJA payment. Once this change is fully approved, not having to pay CAJA for two constitutes a huge saving.

My medical specialist appointment in Costa Rica and medical exams

My medical specialist appointment in Costa RicaAs we left off last week, I couldn’t connect with a recommended English-speaking specialist to see me for a troubling medical issue, and so I am on my Plan B attempt to get in to see a GP in the town next to mine. I called the office and the receptionist connected me with an English-speaking associate GP who had me come right over. When I got there, he ushered me into his office right away. We had a brief discussion about my condition and I thought he would, at least, perform a lab test or two that I had read would be a necessary part of arriving at a diagnosis of my condition.

Surprise: he refused to treat me (or charge me for that matter) and said I should go to a specialist right away. He recommended one about a kilometer from his office. When I got to the specialist’s office just before noon, they were closed and the sign on the window said their hours were 2PM-6PM. I wrote down the office phone and drove back home to have some lunch and wait to call for an appointment. I called at 2:00 to discover that the phone number painted on the office window had been disconnected.

Looking for a medical specialist in Costa Rica

Looking for a medical specialist in Costa RicaWhile we’re here in Costa Rica still waiting for our “cedulas de residencia” as “pensionados,” we’ve kept our MediCare in the States in force in case there is a real medical necessity. If something major required a return to our old home State, we would be covered. In addition, my wife’s and my MediCare supplemental policies include emergency medical coverage for the first 60 days each time we leave, so this feature renews each time we exit the States.

This international coverage doesn’t cover non-emergency doctor’s visits and un-prescribed drugs and we’ve also heard that it is difficult to get reimbursed for emergency care provided outside of the U.S. even when inside the 60-day window. This is due to the differences in the billing codes and the different types of care provided for similar afflictions, but in any case we do have a bit of a medical security blanket.

However, we have no coverage whatsoever once that 60 day period expires. It’s pretty simple and not too expensive to receive non-emergency, non-specialized medical attention when you need it. Just make an appointment or simply walk into a private physician’s office (“clinica”) or the local CAJA medical clinic (part of the Costa Rican national health system) and wait to be seen.

Medicinal herbs in Costa Rica

Pichichio is a medicinal herb used  in Costa Rica to cure sinusitisA Costa Rica real estate client asked me to write about medicinal herbs in Costa Rica, which fortunately comes pretty easy to me because my dad, together with his partner, Hendrik Stins, opened La Buena Hierba, the first real medicinal herb store in Costa Rica in 1986.

I come from a family of pharmacists and my dad changed his pharmacy & drugstore in to a spice and medicinal herb store in the 70’s in Holland, so I grew up with the smell and use of spices and medicinal plants. When we moved to Costa Rica, my dad first bought half the shares in Mondaisa, then Montaña del Arco Iris SA, a small factory of spices and herbal teas. Later, he started Condimentos Escazu with another partner and started the La Buena Hierba store on Paseo de Estudiantes, now in China Town.

Costa Rica used to have a strong culture for the use of medicinal herbs but over the last 20 years most of it disappeared. Hierba Buena, cuculmeca, zacate limon, cola de caballo, diente de leon, hombre grande and pichichio are some of those local medicinal herbs, you just need to know where to buy them and what they are used for. 

Meet your Marijuana friendly Real Estate Broker in Costa Rica

I saw this article about Denver residential real estate agent Bob Costello who launched a Marijuana-friendly advertising campaign in January this year when the state of Colorado legalized Marijuana for recreational use by adults 21 and over. Great idea!

I have never smoked pot in my life myself because I come from a family of fervent cigarette smokers and when my school friends back in Holland would get stoned on pot, I would have a cigarette and a beer. I never felt the need to getting stoned on anything.

Anybody reading this blog might think that all GoDutch Realty agents agree with what I will say in the following sentences. Well, I don’t know. This blog is called Ivo’s blog because this is my way of seeing things, my opinion. If you’re not interested in Marijuana and don’t agree with my opinion and can’t live with it, we have lots of great Costa Rica property for sale on our website that you can look at instead of reading this blog.

If you're looking to buy pot when visiting Costa Rica don't call or email me. Ask a taxi driver to connect you with a drug dealer.

Quality assisted living in Costa Rica at reasonable prices

Quality assisted living in Costa Rica at reasonable prices Florida became famous for its retirement communities and Costa Rica will be the next. The first retirement community in Costa Rica is Verdeza is under construction and located in Escazu.

This beautiful community will be fully operational on the 11th of November 2013 and the new residents will be able to move that day. I have done several hard hat tours with clients of mine in recent weeks and I took some pictures, so you can see for yourself how well they are moving ahead on the construction. I am pretty sure they will make their opening’s date as planned.  

Verdeza is a fully bilingual continuing care facility also offering independent living and gives you now the option to retire in a tropical environment with the amenities of a modern city. 

I found Yoga in Costa Rica at 51 years old

by Corinne Aulakh

Yoga in Costa Rica when at 51 years oldI am a fan of Ivo’s blog and especially enjoyed the recent submission, Suggestions on what to do with your free time in Costa Rica by guest blogger, TicoNuevo.  Humbly, I would like to add to his many valuable recommendations and suggest using this extra free time to find, develop, and enhance a healthy lifestyle.  

I came to Costa Rica as a pensionado with 3 young children to raise 22 years ago.   I did not speak a word of Spanish.  I actually did do pretty much all the actions suggested in TicoNuevo’s blog.  I joined a Spanish-speaking group to learn the language, I volunteered my time with PANI, I volunteered in the school my children attended, and I joined a couple of women’s groups that met weekly. 

Knees and feet hurt | get them fixed in Costa Rica

Knees and feet hurt | get them fixed in Costa RicaI have been struggling with bad pain in my feet for years and no doctor could find what the problem was. Thank God for the internet (not of Facebook this time), that made it possible for me to find out that I have a neurological problem. A Costa Rica real estate agent who cannot walk is no good, so I decided to do something about it.

In Costa Rica, the advantage is that if you have a medical problem, you do not need to be referred by any doctor. You just find a doctor in the phone book and make the appointment.

That is how simple it was for me to make an appointment with a neurologist in CIMA hospital in Escazu, a private hospital in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Ambulance services

Costa Rica Ambulance servicesIf you need ambulance services in Costa Rica to get to the hospital, make sure you know your Tico address so the ambulance will know where to find and will not get lost, or ask a local to give the ambulance the address. It's amazing how many people I sold a home in Costa Rica and it took them months to learn their address.

Because we don’t have any street addresses in Costa Rica, some of these hospitals might be a bit difficult for you to find, so it might be easier to call 911 and ask for an ambulance, so they will send a Red Cross ambulance.

If you don’t want to wait for the ambulance just hop in a cab and tell the driver “al hospital más cercano urgentemente por favor”.