There are 32 public hospitals in Nicaragua, mostly located on the Pacific side of the country, and more specifically in Managua. Only three of the 32 are in the Caribbean region.
The main hospital in Nicaragua is the Hospital Militar Dr. Alejandro Dávila Bolaños. Opened in 2015 to the public, it has 476 beds and is the country’s primary health infrastructure, with high-tech equipment and specialising in a number of health areas.
The 11 national reference hospitals in Managua will treat you for different things:
Bertha Calderón Hospital
La Mascota and Velez Páiz Hospitals
Manolo Morales Hospital
- Maxillofacial surgery
The Mental Health Hospital
The Dermatological Hospital
German Nicaraguan Hospital
- Infectious diseases
There is normally a public hospital in each departamento (state) of Nicaragua which provide both locals and foreigners with free emergency care. Although ‘free’, there are some costs for medication and supplies.
Centros de Salud and local clinics
There is also a Centro de Salud (health centre) in each departmento, which should be visited if you have a minor health problem, for example a cold. The centros are well equipped and staffed by well-qualified medical personnel.
There are smaller health posts and clinics in rural areas, but the quality of care and facilities there are not typically as good as in Managua. It’s advisable to go to the Managua area if you have a specialised medical need.
Most doctors and hospital staff in the local clinics and public hospitals only speak Spanish, and the medical reports will also be written in Spanish. A good understanding of the language is therefore important.
You will typically have to wait a few weeks for an appointment in a public hospital.
Managua is home to several high-quality hospitals, but the one that stands out the most is Vivian Pellas Metropolitan Hospital. It is considered by many as one of the best hospitals not just in Nicaragua but the whole of Central America, it is the most popular hospital for expats and is even accredited by the Joint Commission International Accreditation organisation in recognition of its high standards.
To become a patient at a private Nicaraguan hospital, make contact via email or phone and they will provide you with the necessary information.