Colombia has 23 of the top 58 clinics and hospitals in Latin America, according to a study in late 2018 by América Economia. So, 40 percent of the best hospitals in Latin America are found in Colombia. Nine of these best hospitals in Latin America are located in Medellín and eight in Bogotá.
In 2017, Colombia had 20 of the top 49 clinics and hospitals in Latin America. So, the count has increased to 23 of the top 58 hospitals in Latin America for 2018.
In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranks Colombia’s healthcare system as #22 out of 191 countries it ranked. And no other countries in Latin America were ranked higher than Colombia. So, according to WHO, Colombia has the best healthcare system in Latin America.
Also, Colombia’s healthcare system is ranked higher than many wealthier countries like the United States (#37), Germany (#25), Canada (#30) and Australia (#32).
In Colombia, it is possible to have access to world-class healthcare at a fraction of the cost compared to the healthcare costs in North America or Europe. Furthermore, the costs for healthcare in Colombia can be significantly lower than the costs found in the U.S.
It is possible to find costs that are from 50 percent to even over 70 percent less expensive in Colombia compared to the U.S. And medical insurance is also relatively inexpensive in Colombia in comparison to the U.S. and Europe.
In addition, the good and inexpensive healthcare available in Colombia is one of 27 reasons I chose to live in Medellín.
The 23 best hospitals in Colombia, which are found on the list of the top 58 hospitals in Latin America, are located in Medellín (with nine hospitals), Bogotá (eight), Cali (two), Pasto (two), Bucaramanga (one) and Manizales (one). In this article we briefly look at each of these best hospitals in Colombia.
A. Best Hospitals in Medellín
Medellín has nine hospitals that are on the list of the top 58 hospitals in Latin America as follows with their Latin American rankings:
- Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe (#9)
- Hospital Universitario de San Vicente Fundación (#16)
- Clínica las Américas (#23)
- Hospital General de Medellín (#28)
- Clínica Universitaria Bolivariana (#34)
- Clínica El Rosario (#43)
- Clínica Cardio Vid (#44)
- Clínica Medellín (#53)
- Clínica Las Vegas (#58)
# 1 in Medellín: Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe (#9 in Latin America)
Pablo Tobón Uribe is ranked as the best hospital in Medellín. The private, non-profit, Catholic hospital was founded in 1970. And it’s located in the Córdoba barrio of the Robledo comuna of Medellín. It had 371 beds until an expansion opened in 2016 that reportedly increased this to over 500 beds and tripled the size of the emergency area. Also, it has an intensive care unit with reportedly over 70 beds.
Pablo Tobón Uribe is a general hospital with specialties in bariatric surgery, cancer and renal care and pediatrics. In addition, it’s a university hospital. Students can receive training in nursing, nutrition, medicine, microbiology and psychology.
Furthermore, Pablo Tobón Uribe has a special department to support health tourism. This department handles foreign patients and communications with medical practitioners in patients’ home countries. In addition, Pablo Tobón Uribe has a number of doctors that speak English and several trained medical interpreters.
Address: Calle 78 B # 69 – 240, Medellín
Telephone: +57 (4) 445 9000
#2 in Medellín: Hospital Universitario de San Vicente Fundación (#16 in Latin America)
Universitario de San Vicente Fundación is ranked the second-best hospital in Medellín. This private hospital is located on a campus in the Seville barrio of Medellín. In addition, it’s conveniently located next to the Hospital metro station on Line A.
San Vicente Fundación was founded in 1913. And it reportedly has over 660 beds with 15 operating rooms. San Vicente has three specialty-centers: Cardiopulmonary and Peripheral Vascular Center, Digestive Diseases Center, and an Organ and Tissue Transplant Center. Also, it has an Infant Hospital that opened in 1961.
In 2011, San Vicente opened a new health center in Rionegro located near the José María Córdova Medellín international airport. This new complex has a cardiopulmonary and vascular system center, a digestive disease center, an emergency center and an oncology center. In addition, it has a transplant and tissue center. It reportedly has 180 hospital beds. And a future planned expansion at this health center will add specialties for cancer, trauma, plastic surgery as well as 320 more beds.
San Vicente is a general hospital but it is also very well known for performing transplants. Reportedly over 50 percent of all transplants in Colombia are done in Medellin. And a vast majority (nearly 90 percent) of those are performed at San Vicente.
The transplant group in the hospital performed the first trachea transplant in the world and the first bone marrow transplant in Latin America. In addition, the hospital did several first transplants in Colombia: the first esophagus transplant, first kidney transplant, first liver transplant and first small intestine transplant. Also, it did the first larynx transplant in Colombia, which was the second in the world.
Address: Calle 64 # 51D-154, Medellín
Telephone: +57 (4) 444 1333
#3 in Medellín: Clínica las Américas (#23 in Latin America)
Clínica las Américas was born in 1989 by a group of healthcare professionals in Medellín with a vision of building the best healthcare center in the city. The main Clínica las Américas hospital opened in October, 1993, in the La Mota barrio of Belén near the Enrique Olaya Herrera airport.
In addition, Clínica las Américas has a second clinic known as Clínica del Sur that is located in Loma del Escobero in Envigado. Clínica las Américas reportedly has a total of over 300 beds. And it has 16 operating rooms for general and specialized surgery. Furthermore, it has a portfolio of over 500 health professionals and reportedly offers services in 77 medical specialties and sub-specialties.
Address: Diagonal 75B # 2A-80/140, Medellín
Telephone: +57 (4) 342 1010
#4 in Medellín: Hospital General de Medellín (#28 in Latin America)
Hospital General de Medellín is a public hospital in Medellín, which was founded in 1942. The hospital started out with only 20 beds but has grown to reportedly over 440 beds with eight operating rooms.
Hospital General is backed by the Medellín city government. This hospital offers services in a variety of specialties including cardiology, general surgery, gynecology and obstetrics, internal medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, pediatrics, pulmonology and transplants.
Also, the hospital provides adult critical care, gynecological, neonatal, obstetric and pediatric care. It reportedly has over 440 beds. In addition, it offers emergency services 24 hours a day.
Address: Carrera 48 # 32-102, Medellín
Telephone: +57 (4) 384 7300
#5 in Medellín: Clínica Universitaria Bolivariana (#34 in Latin America)
Clínica Universitaria Bolivariana is part of the Pontificia Bolivariana University system. As a university hospital, it contributes to the teaching and research processes, to comprehensively train healthcare professionals. So, the hospital is part of the university’s processes of medical teaching and research. This hospital is located in Robledo in the northwest part of Medellín. Clínica Universitaria Bolivariana reportedly has over 200 beds and seven operating rooms.
Clínica Universitaria Bolivariana offers a series of ambulatory and hospital services in many different clinical and surgical specialties. It is best known for its adult intensive therapy unit, its maternal and child unit that opened in 2013 with the name “Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria” for the care of the both mother and children, and the services of surgery and hospitalization for median and high complexity cases.
Address: Carrera 72A # 78B-50, Robledo, Medellín
Telephone: +57 (4) 445 5900
#6 in Medellín: Clínica El Rosario (#43 in Latin America)
Clínica El Rosario is a private, non-profit hospital that was originally founded in 1955. It has two hospitals located in Medellín in El Centro and in El Poblado. Its hospital in El Poblado is located near the El Tesoro mall and opened in November 2005. Between the two hospitals, El Rosario reportedly has over 200 beds and 12 operating rooms
Clínica El Rosario provides cardiovascular surgery, 24-hour emergency services, general surgery services, imaging, intensive care, neonatal care, plastic surgery, pediatrics, neurosurgery, outpatient surgeries and many other services. In addition, it has specialist centers including a comprehensive oncology unit, coronary care unit and heart institute.
Furthermore, Clínica El Rosario has an international patient office to handle the needs of medical tourists.
Address: El Poblado: Carrera 20 # 2Sur-185, El Centro: Carrera 41 # 62-5
Telephone: +57 (4) 444 1555
#7 in Medellín: Clínica Cardio Vid (#44 in Latin America)
Clínica Cardio Vid is a hospital founded in 1966, which specializes in diagnostics and emergency treatments in cardiovascular, thoracic, pulmonary and neurovascular specialties. It has two hospitals in the Medellín area. Between the two hospitals, Clínica Cardio Vid reportedly has over 150 beds and over 400 staff.
Clínica Cardio Vid is known as a pioneer and leader in Colombia for heart and lung transplants, as well as for comprehensive treatment for patients with complex congenital heart defects.
Address: El Poblado: Carrera 48 # 20-74, Tel: +57 (4) 322 7090 ext. 4020; Robledo: Calle 78B # 75-21, Tel: +57 (4) 322 7090
#8 in Medellín: Clínica Medellín (#53 in Latin America)
Clínica Medellín was founded in 1947 with a goal to establish a clinic in Medellín similar to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Clínica Medellín has grown over the past several years to where it now has three clinics/hospitals in Medellín located in El Centro, El Poblado and Belén. Belén is the newest, as it opened in February 2014.
This medical chain with three facilities in Medellín reportedly has over 300 beds and offers a wide range of medical services. This includes anesthesiology, cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, thoracic surgery, general surgery, plastic surgery, pediatric surgery, vascular surgery, dermatology, gynecology, intensive care, pulmonology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, oncology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, pathology, pediatrics, radiology, urology and several others.
Furthermore, Clínica Medellín has an international patient office to deal with medical tourists. This office even provides advice before patients arrive in the city, during their stay and after their departure.
Address: El Poblado: Calle 7 # 39-290, Tel: +57 (4) 311 2800; Belén: Carrera 65B # 30-95, Tel: +57 (4) 444 6152 and El Centro: Calle 53 #46-38
#9 in Medellín: Clínica Las Vegas (#58 in Latin America)
Clínica Las Vegas was founded in 1988. It was started by a group of 10 renowned healthcare professionals. Originally, the project was conceived to offer basic healthcare services, but the dream began to grow and and turned into a clinic offering many healthcare services.
On August 25, 1992, the first patient was received in the emergency department. And three days later the clinic started operating. It initially had: 88 offices, 42 patient rooms, 5 surgery rooms and 2 delivery rooms.
One year after the clinic opened, it was expanded due to demand with Phase II with seventy new offices and twenty-one more rooms. Clínica Las Vegas now reportedly has over 140 beds. Specialties in the clinic include:
- Cardiovascular surgery
- Plastic surgery
In addition, Clínica Las Vegas has an office to support international patients with English-speaking staff.
Address: El Poblado: Calle 2 Sur # 46-55
Telephone: +57 (4) 315 9000
B. Best Hospitals in Bogotá
Bogotá has eight hospitals that are on the list of the top 58 hospitals in Latin America as follows with their Latin American rankings:
- Fundación Cardioinfantil (#5)
- Clínica Universidad de La Sabana (#25)
- Clínica del Occidente (#29)
- Méderi (#36)
- Clínica Universitaria Colombia – Colsanitas (#38)
- Clínica Universitario Infantil de San José (#49)
- Clínica los Nogales (#54)
- Centro Policlínico del Olaya (#57)
#1 in Bogotá: Fundación Cardioinfantil (#5 in Latin America)
Fundación Cardioinfantil is a private non-profit organization founded in 1973, originally aimed at the care of children with cardiovascular problems, who due to their limited resources, could not access the quality health services they require.
In October 1993, the Institute of Cardiology was created at the hospital, which extended cardiology care to patients of all ages and expanded its portfolio of services to 51 medical-surgical specialties to provide comprehensive care to all patients.
The hospital attends to monthly averages of 1,100 inpatients, 9,000 urgent consultations, 9,500 specialized outpatient visits, nearly 12,000 diagnostic tests and 8,600 surgeries (of which 1,200 correspond to cardiac surgeries). The hospital reportedly has over 330 beds and 8 operating rooms.
Address: Calle 163A # 13B-60, Bogotá
Telephone: +57 (1) 667 2727
#2 in Bogotá: Clínica Universidad de La Sabana (#25 in Latin America)
The history of Clínica Universidad de La Sabana goes back to 1997, when the University of La Sabana, in search of a training center in the health sciences for the faculties of medicine, nursing and psychology, established a center for rehabilitation offering services of physical and occupational therapy.
Afterwards, a hospitalization area that did not exist was built in addition to operating rooms. An emergency care area was added as well as an intensive care center for adults. And in 2006, the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital was inaugurated.
The hospital currently has specialty units in orthopedics, neurosurgery, general surgery, plastic surgery, hand surgery, thorax surgery, intensive care, cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, pneumology and electroconvulsive therapy. Clínica Universidad de La Sabana reportedly has 190 beds.
Address: Km. 7, Autopista Norte of Bogotá located in Chía
Telephone: +57 (1) 861 7777
#3 in Bogotá: Clínica del Occidente (#29 in Latin America)
Clínica del Occidente opened its doors in September 1982. In addition, Clínica del Occidente has an alliance with Jackson Memorial Hospital of Miami, one of the leading trauma institutions in the United States.
Medical specialties at Clínica del Occidente include neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery and reconstructive surgery. And the hospital recently opened a new oncology center.
The hospital reportedly has over 220 beds. In addition, Clínica del Occidente offers emergency room services 24 hours per day with the capacity to serve 17,000 emergency room consultations per month.
Address: Avenida de Las Américas # 71C-29, Bogotá
Telephone: +57 (1) 425 4620
#4 in Bogotá: Méderi (#36 in Latin America)
Méderi is a hospital that was created to develop an example healthcare management model for the country of Colombia. Since May 1, 2008, it is a complex private university hospital resulting from a social project led by three entities: Caja de Compensación (Compensation Fund), Compensar – the Hospitable Order San Juan de Dios and Universidad del Rosario.
Méderi has two hospitals in Bogotá, which are named Hospital Universitario Mayor and Hospital Universitario Barrios Unidos. The two hospitals reportedly have a total of over 500 beds for hospitalization plus 160 beds for observation and 80 beds for intensive care.
Méderi focuses on the treatment of older adults and promotes the welfare of the individual, their family and their environment at any stage of life. The hospital currently offers medical services in many areas including orthopedics, general surgery, plastic surgery, hand surgery, thorax surgery, vascular surgery, urology, intensive care, transplants and many others.
Address: Hospital Universitario Mayor: Calle 24 # 29-45, Bogotá and Hospital Universitario Barrios Unidos: Calle 66A # 52-25, Bogotá
Telephone: +57 (1) 560 0520
#5 in Bogotá: Clínica Universitaria Colombia – Colsanitas (#38 in Latin America)
Clínica Universitaria Colombia was created so that users of Colanitas, Medisanitas and EPS Sanitas can received comprehensive healthcare services
The hospital has nine floors and a total of over 300 beds, of which 260 are reportedly for hospitalization. Also, the hosptial has 33 observation cubicles for emergencies and 18 immediate care clinics. The intensive care unit has 13 beds and the cardiovascular intensive care unit has 15 beds. Also, it has 9 operating rooms.
Address: Calle 23B # 66-46, Bogotá
Telephone: +57 (1) 594 8650
#6 in Bogotá: Clínica Universitario Infantil de San José (#49 in Latin America)
The Fundación Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud (FUCS) wanted to add a hospital to ensure places for the practice of its students, with sufficient infrastructure, staffing and human resources for educational processes.
FUCS acquired an old hospital in July 2005 and remodeled the facility to comply with regulations. Currently the Clínica Universitario Infantil de San José has over 160 beds for hospitalization and several fully equipped operating rooms.
The hospital offers a variety of healthcare services including general surgery, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, otorhinolaryngology, orthopedics, pediatric orthopedics, neurosurgery and several other healthcare services.
Address: Carrera 52 # 67A-71, Bogotá
Telephone: +57 (1) 437 7540
#7 in Bogotá: Clínica los Nogales (#54 in Latin America)
Clínica los Nogales is located north of Bogotá in the Chicó Norte neighborhood. It’s modern hospital that opened in 2013 that includes two towers of ten floors in which there are 224 beds in the emergency room, intensive care, and hospitalization; 8 operating rooms; 3 delivery rooms and spacious waiting rooms.
The hospital offers medical services in many areas including oncology, orthopedics, general surgery, plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery, hand surgery, urology, intensive care, dermatology, transplants and many others.
The target of the hospital are private users, members of prepaid medicine and patients who have health plans and insurance policies. In addition, the hospital is targeting patients from abroad with plans to build a nearby hotel.
Address: Calle 95 # 23-61, Bogotá
Telephone: +57 (1) 593 7000
#8 in Bogotá: Centro Policlínico del Olaya (#57 in Latin America)
Centro Policlínico del Olaya was founded in 1987 as a small hospital with 11 hospital beds and one operating room. The hospital was established to meet the needs of vulnerable and resource-poor residents in the south of Bogotá.
Since its founding, the hospital has grown. In 1994, it installed the second MRI of the country. And two years later, it started construction of a second tower to expand the hospital. In 2001, it started construction of a third tower and in 2004 built a fourth tower. The hospital now reportedly has over 150 beds.
Centro Policlínico del Olaya offers many healthcare services including adult, pediatric, gynecological and obstetric emergencies; outpatient services; general hospitalization; high-level surgery, gynecology-obstetrics, intensive neonatal, pediatric and adult care, renal unit, among others.
Address: Carrera 20 # 20-23 Sur, Bogotá
Telephone: +57 (1) 361 2888
C. Best Hospitals in Cali
Cali has two hospitals that are on the list of the top 58 hospitals in Latin America as follows with their Latin American rankings:
- Fundación Valle del Lili (#3)
- Centro Médico Imbanaco (#11)
#1 in Cali: Fundación Valle del Lili (#3 in Latin America)
Fundación Valle del Lili is considered the best hospital in Colombia and is ranked the third best hospital in all of Latin America.
Fundación Valle del Lili was founded in November 1982. Towards the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, there was no place in Cali to offer patients the services of highly complex medicine and to practice new medical technologies. So, medical specialists were forced to refer their patients to other cities or countries.
Fundación Valle del Lili began operating in March 1986, with initially the services of stress tests and a clinical laboratory. Subsequently, a cardiology consultation was started and nephrology and dialysis units, diagnostic images, oncology, orthopedics, lithotripsy and nuclear medicine were all added. And in January 1994, hospitalization, emergency services and intensive care for adults were opened.
Furthermore, the large private hospital has grown to where it now has over 460 beds distributed between hospitalization and intensive care units (newborns, pediatrics and adults).
Address: Avenida Simón Boliva, Carrera 98 # 18-49, Cali
Telephone: +57 (2) 555 1326
#2 in Cali: Centro Médico Imbanaco (#11 in Latin America)
In the early 1970s, a group of professors from the School of Medicine at the Universidad del Valle, conceived the idea of creating a center of specialists, to practice their private practices. With this dream they started the Centro Médico Imbanaco, which opened in August 1976 with 28 offices. And in the 1980s, Centro Médico Imbanaco expanded and started offering emergency, surgery and hospitalization services.
Centro Médico Imbanaco expanded again in 1993 with two new towers offering medical services. And in January 2011, Imbanaco opened its newest building in Cali with 82,000 square meters and over 350 beds distributed between hospitalization, intensive care units (newborns, pediatrics, adults, coronary and high obstetric risk) and transplantation.
Address: Carrera 38 BIS # 5B2-04, Cali
Telephone: +57 (2) 682 1000
D. Best Hospitals in Pasto
Pasto has two hospitals that are on the list of the top 58 hospitals in Latin America as follows with their Latin American rankings:
- Fundación Hospital Infantile Los Angeles (#45)
- Hospital Universitario Departamental de Narino (#48)
#1 in Pasto: Fundación Hospital Infantile Los Angeles (#45 in Latin America)
Fundación Hospital Infantile Los Angeles was founded in 1952 as a charitable institution thanks to the initiative of a group of ladies from the San Juan de Pasto society. Over the next year the hospital started offering service with initially 36 beds. And from 1955 to 1965 it moved to occupy the former facilities of San Pedro Hospital.
In 1958, it started construction of a new hospital that wasn’t completed until the mid-1960’s with 50 beds and began offering emergency services along with a Clinical Laboratory, X-Ray, Pharmacy, Operating Room and Nutrition.
The hospital focuses on children patients and has pediatric and neonatal intensive care units that are reportedly the best in southwestern Colombia. It has over 110 beds and over 80 full-time doctors.
Address: Carrera 32 # 21A-30, Pasto
Telephone: +57 (2) 733 6400
#2 in Pasto: Hospital Universitario Departamental de Nariño (#48 in Latin America)
In March 1967, the President of Colombia at the time Dr. Carlos Lleras Restrepo, visited the city of Pasto and was made aware of the precarious functional conditions of the Civil Hospital of Pasto. The result was efforts to build the new Hospital Universitario Departamental de Nariño. In January 1970, the construction process began. And in December 1975, the provision of health services began.
In 1977, the hospitalization services in the facility were opened, with the basic specialties of internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, obstetrics and pediatrics; and also support units of radiology, clinical laboratory, pathology, rehabilitation, pharmacy and nutrition are put into service.
Currently the hospital offers a wide range of medical specialties including oncology, cardiology, orthopedics, general surgery, plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery, urology, intensive care, dermatology and many others. And the hospital reportedly has over 200 beds.
Address: Carrera 32 # 21A-30, Pasto
Telephone: +57 (2) 733 3400
E. Best Hospital in Bucaramanga
Bucaramanga has only one hospital that is in the list of the top 58 hospitals in Latin America as follows with its Latin American ranking:
#1 in Bucaramanga: Fundación Cardiovascular de Colombia (#8 in Latin America)
Fundación Cardiovascular de Colombia is the highest rated hospital in Bucaramanga. Fundación Cardiovascular was founded in October 1986. Specialties in this hospital include pediatric and adult cardio-surgery, neurosciences, critical care and a transplant center.
This hospital reportedly has over 280 beds. And it has about 210 doctors working full-time. In the two years between 2014 and 2016, 37 heart, 22 liver and 44 kidney transplants were successfully performed in this hospital.
Address: Calle 155A # 23-58, Bucaramanga
Telephone: +57 (7) 639 9292
F. Best Hospital in Manizales
Manizales has only one hospital that is in the list of the top 58 hospitals in Latin America as follows with its Latin American ranking:
#1 in Manizales: S.E.S. Hospital de Caldas (#50 in Latin America)
Special Health Services (S.E.S.) was created as an association of mixed participation, public, non-profit, municipal and was founded in 1985 on the initiative of the Foundation for the Development of Health PROSALUD and Manizales’ Welfare system, who in turn administered the Hospital de Caldas.
S.E.S. Hospital de Caldas offers a wide range of medical services including general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, plastic and reconstructive surgery, pediatrics, gastroenterology, neonatal services and many other services.
This hospital reportedly has about 170 hospitalization beds. And it has eight operating rooms plus 16 independent cubicles for intensive care.
Address: Calle 48 # 25-71, Manizales
Telephone: +57 (6) 878 2500
Bottom Line: The Best Hospitals in Colombia
With 23 of the best hospitals in Latin America and with medical costs that are lower in Colombia than in North America and Europe, Colombia is well positioned for medical tourism.
In addition, Medellín is gaining a reputation as a top foreign retirement location. And Medellín has nine of the top ranked hospitals in Latin America. So, it is possible to have access to world-class healthcare in Medellín and several other cities in Colombia. And health insurance is also inexpensive in Colombia compared to the costs in North America and Europe.
Furthermore, all of the best hospitals in Colombia in the above article have some staff that speak English. And several of these hospitals also have departments focused on medical tourist customers. So, medical tourism is expected to continue increasing in Colombia with the low costs and highly rated hospitals in Colombia.
In addition, “What are the best hospitals in Medellín and Colombia?” is a common question asked by expats moving to Medellín and other cities in Colombia. So, we included this question in our list of Medellín frequently asked questions (FAQ).
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Editors note: updated on December 22, 2018 this article that was originally published on December 12, 2017 with new 2018 hospital ranking in Latin America. Colombia now has 23 of the best hospitals in Latin America.