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- Photo via Social Security  -

Costa Rica declares emergency on delayed medical appointments

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Published on Thursday, May 25, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Social Security declares an emergency on the waiting lists that patients must undergo to obtain a medical appointment with a specialist.


According to Marta Eugenia Esquivel-Rodríguez, president of Social Security, declaring an emergency is the first step to developing a plan that provides an effective solution to the problem faced by patients of having to wait for months to get an appointment with a doctor.


People who cannot get an appointment with their doctor are listed in a database and they must wait weeks or months to receive medical attention.

Also, there are cases when there are not enough doctors of a specific medical profession, so patients set appointments scheduled ahead for several months or the next year.

These delays in medical care can have serious consequences, even putting a person's life at risk.

The emergency declaration authorizes Social Security to use additional funds to execute programs such as hiring specialists and alliances with private medical services, among others, to reduce the lists of patients waiting for medical treatment.

According to a report by  La Nación Journal, in April there were approximately 175,000 patients who were waiting for a medical appointment to perform surgery. The average waiting time for a medical appointment was more than one year.


What have you heard about the slow medical service of social security in your country? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments news@amcostarica.com