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- Photo via the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees -

Free medical care to refugees in Costa Rica

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Published on Monday, July 31, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those who are refugee applicants or are currently living in Costa Rica as refugees will have access to health services in public Social Security clinics and hospitals. 

This medical benefit is made possible through a refugee collective insurance agreement that has been signed between Social Security and international organizations. 

The agreement is sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) , the Embassy of Spain in Costa Rica and the Spanish Cooperation in Costa Rica.

The program allows free access to medical services for a year, from August 2023 to August 2024, for foreigners living in Costa Rica with refugee status or seeking asylum.

Marta Eugenia Esquivel-Rodríguez, president of Social Security, believes that the agreement is an opportunity for public health to offer dignified care with quality medical service to vulnerable populations. 

However, Social Security recently declared a state of emergency due to the long waiting lists for patients trying to make appointments with a specialist. Patients are having to wait for weeks or even months to receive medical attention.

In June, the European Union and Costa Rica signed a cooperation agreement worth over $14.9 million to develop programs for refugees and other plans.

Have you experienced slow medical service from Social Security in your community? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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