The quality and cost of medical care here is staggering. The first because it is so professional, thorough and complete. The second because it is so reasonable, bordering on cheap. No, not bordering on. It IS cheap. By any standard.

Tuesday morning, I spent in the emergency room at Clinica Biblica*, one of the two biggest and best hospitals here. Ryan has asthma, plus a cold, a nerve-wracking combination. As soon as we got there, we saw a pediatrician who sent us off to get two breathing treatments. They used a medication I had never heard of (in the states, he always gets albuterol which nowadays does nothing). These treatments made a huge difference.

Then we went back to see the doctor – no waiting. He prescribed 3 new drugs I had never heard of: Calcort (a steroid pill), Abrilar (to loosen up his cough) and Symbicort (a "Turbuhaler" that supplies budesonida and formoterol to his lungs). All of these drugs together costs $63.

I won’t take the time to look these up online or call Walgreens for comparative prices. I KNOW from over a decade of buying asthma medication for my son that these would have cost me over $200. Easy. And the ER visit cost $88. My last trip to the emergency room in the states cost over $500.

Even after we no longer live in Costa Rica (IF that ever happens), we’ll come back for medical care. We can afford to stay healthy here, to catch it before it catches us… What a concept.

*If you go to the site, you can click on the drop down menu at "Idiomas" and select English… or a number of other languages. Take your pick!

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