Yes, health. As in my health and the public health system in Costa Rica. Not ideal, but 3 days into my lovely trip I got sick- like really sick. Maybe because I drank the water, or ate a tortilla de queso unheated (I know, breaking all the gringo rules).

Nonetheless, I found myself down and out in beautiful Manuel Antonio- lucky my friend is from a family full of doctors and knew what to do. I woke up violently ill at 3am and after projectile vomiting- think the exorcist- (sorry readers) at the hotel and freaking everyone out, the hotel called an ambulance.

I arrived at the public hospital and was promptly taken care of as my friend translated. I got an IV, a nap on a bench (shortage of beds), and superb care until I was released at 9am. The purpose of this post is not to dramatize my sickness (I’m fine- really), but to point out that for all my care and medicine- without insurance- this cost me a whole $160. Yes, that’s right. Had I been in the US in the same situation, I’d be out thousands of dollars.

While the hospital might not have been up to ‘US standards’ Costa Rica has an amazing universal health system. Costa Ricans don’t think twice about going to the hospital, receiving care, or even calling an ambulance (this was my first ambulance ride- very memorable). I cannot say I experience the same luxury in the US. I’m 100℅ a fan of universal healthcare, and this is a perfect example of how it works. In my opinon, the opportunity to have good health is a universal right, not a privilege of the wealthy or more fortunate, and it’s a direct link to ones quality of life.

Healthcare rant over. Gratefully, I’m back to good health after my friend bought me the equivalent of Costa Rican Gatorade to rehydrate. Now to enjoy the beaches of Manuel Antonio, folloewed by Monteverde, and La Fortuna. Thank you Ana and the public healthcare system in Costa Rica for taking care of me in my time of need.

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