Here’s A Quick Guide To Medical Tourism In Chile

A country of startling contrasts, Chile has natural wonders ranging from the towering volcanic peaks of the Andes to the ancient forests of Lake District. This country is one of the finest travel destinations in all of South America.


Like many other countries in the continent, Chile started developing superior medical facilities early and still continues to do so, in order to attract rising numbers of medical tourists. These patients wish to avail high level of health services here, at reduced costs as compared to its European and North American counterparts.Apart from this, patients arriving in this country from across the globe are able to reap benefits of the excellent tourism infrastructure here.

The country houses several spectacular locations which allure patients for post-recovery relaxation and recuperation.Chile has 2 hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International, both situated in the capital city of Santiago.


There are a number of reasons which make Chile an attractive destination for medical tourists around the world. Some of these are mentioned below:


The local population are known for their warm, amicable and considerate temperament. A similar kind of welcoming air is characteristic of the behavior of doctors and nurses here.


Chilean doctors have skills on par with international standards and the medical staff here create a cordial atmosphere for the incoming patients. The hospitals and healthcare facilities take great precautions while recruiting medical staff and practitioners, paying attention to the fact that they must have received training as per international standards in order to ensure that their work caters to global requirements.


Medical Travel in Chile

There are 2 JCI accredited hospitals in Chile. These hospitals have highly qualified medical practitioners who provide high quality care to patients. Source: Bob Nichols via



Chile is one of South America’s most economically advanced nations, yet the medical care and treatment here is available at a fraction of the costs in the US.


Hygiene standards maintained in the hospitals in Chile are impeccable, with the presence of round-the-clock security services, thereby assuring the patients of their safety. Also, the police in Chile are able to ensure the well being and protection of visitors arriving in the country, by giving them personal assistance on their request.


The diverse South American terrains offer enticing alternatives for post operative care. Medical tourists who prefer being active during recovery period have scores of options ranging from art and culture to the finest local cuisines in the bustling metropolitan city of Santiago.

Chile Medical Tourism

From highrise buildings to beaches and mountains, Chile's diverse terrains can satisfy both nature lovers and city dwellers. Source: Victor San Martin via



Despite the high quality of healthcare being provided in Chile, the prices paid for medical treatments here are only half of that in the US.


The health care spending of this country stood at 7.5% of its GDP while in US, the health care spending amounted to 18% of its GDP (as recorded in 2012). Other wealthy nations like France, Switzerland, Norway, etc. spent around 9%-12% of their GDP on the healthcare sector.

The cost benefits of various treatments in Chile as compared to their approximate prices in the US are listed below:

  • A routine visit to the doctor in Chile costs about $45 USD while the same costs nearly $90 USD in the US.


  • In Santiago, delivery of a child costs between $2000 USD- $4000 USD, with an addition of another $1500 for a C-section. Hospitals, even in rural areas in the States cost more than this.


  • Undergoing an appendectomy in Chile means that a patient would have to pay around $5500 USD from his/her pocket while if the same procedure was undergone in US, a patient would end up spending around $13000 USD.


  • The cost of most treatments in Chile are approximately half of that in the US. However, while a colonoscopy in Santiago costs around $300-$500 USD, the same costs ten times or even more in the US.


  • Blood work in the US costs approximately $1000 USD. But, in Chile, one has to pay only $100 USD for the same (and under $10 USD with insurance).


Facts about Medical Tourism in Chile


Chilean hospitals offer a broad spectrum of treatments and medical procedures for medical tourists to select from, ranging from internal medicine, oncology, cosmetic procedures, neurology, ophthalmology and urology to psychiatry, dental treatments, physical therapy and dermatology.


The most popular treatment in Chile is plastic and reconstructive surgery with procedures like breast augmentation, face and body lift and tummy tuck attracting major part of the medical tourism traffic to Chile. Typically, a breast augmentation in Chile starts at $6000 USD and a facelift at $8000 USD.


Guide for Medical Tourism in Chile

Hospitals in Chile provide speciality treatments in reconstructive surgery, neurology, opthamology and many others at a fraction of the cost in USA. Source: skeeze via 



US and Canadian citizens must have a valid passport in order to enter Chile. A pre-bought visa is not required, but a reciprocity fee of $132 USD must be paid in cash upon arrival. This makes medical travel for American and Canadian citizens an easy and viable option. The fee receipt is considered as a multiple entry visa and is valid until the date of expiration of one’s passport. Also, a medical system owned and operated by the government of Chile exists in the country, that cares for the indigent. Healthcare for most people in this nation is funded by a mandatory 7% payroll tax.


The government here allows maximum possible number of students to study medicine, as many as the market will bear, thereby eliminating the issue of shortage of doctors. Thus, the country has been continuously growing as a popular medical tourism destination and experiencing an expansion in its healthcare sector year after year which further accelerates the growth of its medical tourism industry.

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