The World Health Organization ranks Colombia’s health care as the 22nd best in the world, surpassing many developed countries, such as the United States (38), Canada (30), Australia (32), and Germany (25).
Colombia’s medical system is one of the best in Latin America and respected internationally. Many clinics and hospitals are accredited by U.S. organizations, including the Joint Commission International. Physicians enjoy excellent education in Colombia and often receive at least part of their training in the United States.
Medellin in particular is expanding its reputation for medical tourism, especially for cosmetic treatments, dentistry, and eye surgery. Medellin’s Health Care Cluster, a public/private partnership between the municipality of Medellin and the Chamber of Commerce, has set exceptionally high requirements for applicants seeking membership, improving quality standards in the city even further. Medellin also has five top-notch hospitals, which are ranked among best 35 in Latin America.
Medellin has some of the continent’s best medical facilities and most highly skilled doctors. Long-known as a destination for cosmetic surgery, Medellin is now established as a destination for complex procedures and advanced technology, including transplant surgery. It’s a major medical tourism destination due to the high quality and low cost of care.
Colombia Health Care Costs
Not only is the medical care in Colombia of an international standard, it’s also very affordable. Costs for procedures can be 50% to 90% less than for comparable procedures performed Stateside.
While living in Colombia, you can use the basic, government-subsidized health plan, called EPS. With no Colombian income, this will cost you 12% of the minimum wage (a premium of about US$36 per month). On this plan, you would use the facilities they specify, which will be basic.
From there you can buy add-on plans, many of which require that you have EPS as a prerequisite. These entitle you to faster service and better, more-upscale facilities. Not every insurance company offers add-on coverage to people over 60, so you may need to shop around if you’re older. If you retire in Colombia, Comfenalco (who takes people over 60) has upgrade plans starting at 120,000 pesos per month.
A private, premium plan for in a network of high-end clinics, would run you about 3,000,000 pesos per year (US$900 – $1100).