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Opportunities for U.S. Medical Device Companies in Costa Rica

Costa Rica spends 7.27% of its annual GDP (which was $64.276M in 2021 ) on health services through the social security system: Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). Its current health expenditure per capita is (current US) $921.59. While public sector spending accounts for 72.54% of healthcare expenditures, Costa Rica boasts a growing private sector that accounts for 27.46% of the total health expenditures. The social healthcare system foresees 348 major projects in the next 20 years, which represents around 3.5 billion dollars. With these figures, the medical device sector is a great opportunity for U.S. companies looking to grow their exports in the region. Additional factors to consider are:

  1. The U.S. is Costa Rica’s top trading partner with medical devices alone accounting for more than $293 million USD in two-way trade.  
  2. In addition, as the country looks to become a medical tourist hub, they understand the need to use reliable, and trusted, equipment in the medical field.  In total, there is a demand for devices and products focused on the orthopedic, ophthalmology, and dermatology areas, as well as surgical procedures such as bariatric surgery and gastric bandage placements. 

With the aforementioned goal of improvements in the public and private healthcare system, the demand for medical equipment will continue to grow as they look to replace outdated and obsolete equipment across all categories.  It should also be noted that medical devices and equipment are also needed for research and development at universities and research centers. 

The U.S. Commercial Service office in San Jose Costa Rica advises interested companies to access the market through a local partnership. For more information about the Costa Rican healthcare sector and opportunities, please contact Isabel Salazar.