Despite a public education effort of the Ministry of Health for patients to keep their scheduled medical appointments and procedures, the reality is that like everywhere else in the world, fear of contracting COVID-19 is the reason for canceling medical appointments, or postponing medical care altogether.
Statistics from the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) support this assertion. Appointments for Ophthalmology, Orthopedics and Gynecology reflected the highest percentage of cancelations. While the implementation of remote teleconsultation via video addressed 36% of the appointments, teleconsultation cannot fully substitute for actual medical care. The main contribution of telehealth is continued access to specialists, when and as needed, while avoiding public gatherings in crowded health clinics.
Source: CR Hoy