Industry Snapshots

Medical Tourism

Health Center

Puerto Rico’s hospitals, academic medical centers, clinics, and laboratories provide sophisticated, technologically advanced care, and serve as a platform for biomedical innovation. The industry is supported by a highly skilled and well-trained workforce that includes specialized physicians, nurses, and technicians. It is also backed by a strong private-sector health insurance industry that provides patients with choices for their medical care. Connections between the healthcare services industry and the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries also represent additional sources of growth and innovation.

Puerto Rico is home to several academic medical centers that provide specialized clinical care and serve as training institutes for health professionals, including the University of Puerto Rico’s Medical Sciences campus, one of the best in Latin America. It provides the most advanced treatments and acts as anchor for regional life sciences clusters, part of the Science District.

Medical Tourism

Puerto Rico’s Business Star Proposition offers exceptional opportunities for growth in the emerging medical tourism industry.

Point 1: Regulated Environment

Puerto Rico has the same legal structure and is regulated under the same federal standards that apply to the health industry in the United States. Hospitals and clinics in Puerto Rico are accredited under JCAHO, just like in the mainland.

Point 2: Human Capital

Puerto Rico counts with board-certified health professionals. As in other components of the tourism industry, there’s bilingual staff at hospitals and medical facilities.

Point 3: Logistics

United States citizens do not need a passport to enter Puerto Rico. The island has direct aerial access to many of the largest United States cities, including the east coast and the states with the largest concentration of Hispanics.

Point 4: Costs

Medical costs in Puerto Rico are 40-60% lower than in the United States (see table below).

Point 5: Incentives

Puerto Rico offers a wide variety of tax incentives for the exportation of services.

Comparative Cost Chart

ProcedureUnited States Average CostPuerto Rico Average Cost
Aortic Valve Replacement$100K - $160K$25K - $35K
Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)$37K - $52K$10K - $15K
Mitral Valve Replacement$100K - $160K$25K - $35K
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery$80K – $120K$25K - $35K
Total Hip Replacement$33K - $64K$14K - $18K
Total Knee Replacement$30K - $59K$12K – $16K
CyberKnife (Radiosurgery)$90K - $120K (less than 5 treatments)$25- 35K (1-5 treatments)
Gynecology Procedures (Myomectomy, Hysterectomy) $17K -$35K (Not da Vinci)$5,500 -$7,000 (da Vinci)
Urology Procedure (Prostatectomy, Nephrectomy) $28,000 - $39,000 (Not da Vinci) $9K - $12K (da Vinci)
(Source: HIMA Health 2013)

Main Industry Subsectors

Nursing and Residential Care Facilities

As with the industry at large, facilities operate under both for-profit and nonprofit models.

Ambulatory Care

Outpatient services, including physician and dental care, as well as medical and diagnostic laboratories.

Contact Us to learn more about opportunities in the Medical Tourism sector.

Get to know the incentives for the Services industry.