Colombia has 24 of the top 58 clinics and hospitals in Latin America, according to a study in late 2019 by América Economia. So, 41 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 nine are in Bogotá.
In 2017, Colombia had 20 of the top 49 clinics and hospitals in Latin America. And in 2018, Colombia had 23 of the top 58 hospitals. So, the count in 2019 has increased to 24 of the top 58 clinics and hospitals in Latin America for 2019.
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 24 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 (nine), 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 2019 Latin American rankings:
- Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe (#9)
- Hospital Universitario de San Vicente Fundación (#16)
- Clínica las Américas (#26)
- Clínica Universitaria Bolivariana (#28)
- Hospital General de Medellín (#33)
- Clínica El Rosario (#41)
- Clínica Cardio Vid (#42)
- Clínica Medellín (#43)
- Clínica Las Vegas (#53)
# 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 (#26 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: Clínica Universitaria Bolivariana (#28 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
#5 in Medellín: Hospital General de Medellín (#33 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
#6 in Medellín: Clínica El Rosario (#41 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 (#42 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 (#43 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 (#53 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 nine hospitals that are on the list of the top 58 hospitals in Latin America as follows with their 2019 Latin American rankings:
- Fundación Cardioinfantil (#3)
- Clínica Universidad de La Sabana (#25)
- Clínica del Occidente (#31)
- Méderi (#32)
- Hospital Universitario Infantil de San José (#49)
- Clinica de Marly (#50)
- Clínica los Nogales (#51)
- Hospital Universitario Clinica San Rafael (#55)
- Centro Policlínico del Olaya (#57)
#1 in Bogotá: Fundación Cardioinfantil (#3 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 (#31 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 (#32 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 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
#6 in Bogotá: Clinica de Marly (#50 in Latin America)
Clínica de Marly began its activities in early 1903 with Dr. Carlos Esguerra as Director. Today, Clínica de Marly is the oldest private health institution in Bogotá. In addition, this hospital has a second location in Chia that reportedly opened in 2018.
This hospital offers many healthcare services including anesthesia, general surgery, endocrinology, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, neonatology and pediatrics, neurosurgery, neurology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, urology, among others.
The first location of this hospital has 130 beds and the second location in Chia has 91 beds.
Address: Calle 50 # 9-67
Telephone: +57 (1) 343 6600
#7 in Bogotá: Clínica los Nogales (#51 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: Hospital Universitario Clinica San Rafael (#55 in Latin America)
Hospital Universitario Clinica San Rafael was founded in 1929. It offers medical-surgical services that range from prevention to highly complex procedures. The hospital reportedly has 387 beds.
This hospital offers many healthcare services including anesthesia, audiology, adult cardiology, pediatric cardiology, general surgery, cardiovascular surgery, thorax surgery, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, endocrinology, hemodynamics, gynecology, pediatric infectology, among others.
Address: Carrer 8 # 17-45 Sur, Bogotá
Telephone: +57 (1) 328 2400
#9 in Bogotá: Centro Policlínico de 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 2019 Latin American rankings:
- Fundación Valle del Lili (#4)
- Centro Médico Imbanaco (#12)
#1 in Cali: Fundación Valle del Lili (#4 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 (#12 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 2019 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 2019 Latin American ranking:
#1 in Bucaramanga: Fundación Cardiovascular de Colombia (#6 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 2019 Latin American ranking:
#1 in Manizales: S.E.S. Hospital de Caldas (#39 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
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Bottom Line: The Best Hospitals in Colombia
With 24 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 October 29, 2019 this article that was originally published on December 12, 2017 (and updated in December 2018) with new 2019 hospital rankings in Latin America. Colombia now has 24 of the 58 best hospitals in Latin America.
Hi Jeff, thanks for this helpful article. I didn´t know that Colombia has so many highly ranked hospitals. The U.S. healthcare system is a joke and is getting crazy expensive so I am glad I live in Colombia now.
Thanks Jeff. Another great post. What type of Visa would I need for medical help? And a 2 day seminar. Might be up to a month to recuperate..
You don’t need a visa for medical help. But if you have a visa and cedula you can get local medical insurance – which is a topic for a future article.
As someone planning to move to Medellin in 2018, thank you for this helpful information about hospitals in Medellin. Another related issue which would be most helpful to read about is the question of private health insurance availability and cost (not the cheap public kind, but the best health coverage available in Colombia by Colombian and International Insurance companies).
PS: constant comparing to U.S. equivalencies is not at all useful to your non American readers, especially in the field of Health Care.
Hi Gilles, thanks. I plan to write an article about the medical insurance options but this will take more time to research.
Jeff that’s not really my plan, but just wondering.
What about Fundacion Santa Fe Bogota ? (Cr 7 #117)
It and Medellin’s Hospital Pablo Tobon Uribe are the only 5 Colombian hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International which is very important
I come to Bogota every year and receive excellent care from FSFB coordinated by their superb International Services department which speaks English
It didn’t make the América Economia list of the best hospitals in Latin America so it wasn’t included in the article. And it didn’t last year either.
You should evaluate quality of health care and not base your report on economic concepts. I think you are biased or at least wrong and misinformed. Fundacion Santa Fe is the best or in the worst case scenario, among the top 3 health care centers in Colombia.
This is not our ranking of hospitals and clinics, we used as our source a study in late 2019 by América Economia, see: https://clustersalud.americaeconomia.com/gestion-hospitalaria/ranking-de-clinicas-y-hospitales-estos-son-los-mejores-de-latinoamerica-2019.
Thanks Jeff, So you need a Visa to do most anything. Sorry was out for a while.
Thanks for putting together this website and regularly updating it. It’s a very useful and thoughtful site.
My wife and I are planning to move to Colombia in 2019 and we are wondering about health insurance. We plan to reside in Colombia, but travel extensively outside of Colombia as well, including regular and extended trips to the US. I’m wondering about your experiences with the health insurance of Colombia and how it works while traveling outside of Colombia. For example, are there are a minimum number of days one must be in Colombia to qualify for and maintain Colombian health insurance? While traveling, do you need supplemental coverage in case of an emergency hospital visit? Obviously, the US healthcare system is obscenely expensive, even for minor visits, and part of living abroad is to avoid such absurd costs. Do you return to the States for visits? What do you do for medical coverage?
Thanks again for the information.
Hi Scott, thanks. I am planning on a detailed article next year about health insurance as its an important topic. There isn’t much information out there in English about health insurance in Colombia. And there is a reason. It’s a complex topic due to there being many options and many health insurance providers.
Great article about the hospitals in Colombia. The U.S. healthcare system is a mess. I just discovered your website and it is so helpful.
Thanks for all the information you give about Medellin and Colombia in general. since in an article you said that you were going to talk about medical insurance in Colombia since I am waiting for it with anxiety. Beforehand thank you very much. David
Great article: Colombia might have one of the best health care systems in the world, but it is only for the affluent or with the best health insurance. I’ve seen exposes by TV journalists of horror stories for the average citizen whose is hoped from hospital to hospital because they don’t have the right insurance or a credit card to pay up front which has resulted in dead while in transit and the story goes much deeper than that like pervasve corruption of the industry, very lame regulation of it ( unlike in the USA ). I don’t want to put down the country I was born in, but those are the realities. It might be affordable for expats, but not for everybody else: The Private Hospitals, for profit, motto is: Unless you can pay up front or prove that you can pay up front: You can die in front of us without any medical personel taking care of you.
There has been High Profile cases of the Colombian Elite that have died because of “so called” best doctors at fancy private clinics or TV celebrities loosing both kidneys like Adriana Betancourt who was diagnosted during a medical emergency in Paris.
The moral of the story: be always vigilant of the medical services you get and ask lots of questions.
Also, most likely, for people who like to travel to different countries: You are probably better buying a good insurance at your destination. Those travel medical insurance are a scam which I learned from personal experience.
These remarks are not meant to scare you or put down the Colombian medical system, but it is better to be upfront to be better prepared.
Thanks for this article…it helped in deciding which clinic would be best for me. I was reading an old article in MedellinLiving from 2013 about doctors who speak English. I was wondering if you could do an update on doctors, dentists and other medical personnel who speak at least some English. Thanks.
Hi Karolyn, thanks. But sorry we have no plans for an article about doctors and dentists due to not finding a trusted ranking of doctors and dentists and liability issues.
hi jeff ,
I live overseas and am planning to go to Colombia to see a internal medicine doctor can you recommend me to a good one there, I will be very happy…
Sorry, we don’t make doctor recommendations due to liability issues according my lawyer. Also, we haven’t found a trusted ranking of doctors.
I understand perfectly…thank you for your response.
Any idea which hospital in Colombia would be best for neurosurgery? Thanks!
Hi Jeff. Thanks for the fantastic article.
I was wondering if you have any information – or could point me into the right direction – of new private hospital projects. I am very interested in new projects that have been announced or have just begun construction, all over Colombia. Thank you!
Hi Jeff. Would it be possible to reach you directly? Thank you!
Yes, via the contact form on this site – https://medellinguru.com/contact/
Medellin Colombia is also Great for Plastic Surgery. If anyone needs a great Facial Plastic Surgeon I visited Dr. Edgar Felipe Diaz. I had a Septoplastia which fixes Deviated Septum. While he was doing the Septoplastia he did a Rinoplastia. Rinoplastia was very Natural. He is a ENT and is great if anyone needs his service you can find information on his website. http://www.RinoplastiaMedellin.com
Thanks this is a helpful article and the U.S. healthcare system crazy expensive.
Nice article and thanks for the updated list of best hospitals in Colombia. I agree that Colombia’s healthcare is better than in the U.S. that is becoming insanely expensive.
Jeff…good article..as a Colombian dr , Harvard and Hopkins trained I can tell you ,if I may, the only two places that I would go for medical care :Bogota and Medellin period ! A good advice for your readers … do not look for cheap surgery or treatment …… DO NOT ! You will be risking your life, as simple as that..A top well trained specialist do no offer discounts (!). But it will be cheaper than in he States nonetheless.If you plan to go for medical or surgical treatment write to the dr’ office &request his CV training in countries other than USA ,England, Germany etc is not a guarantee of quality,enemies in the States you can get lousy training.
Remember a cheap surgery will most likely take you to the cemetery!
Good job Jeff!
The best hospital of Colombia is in Cali. To say “Bogota and Medellin Period” sounds very biased!
Hello I’m considering to go to Columbia for surgery. I’m trying to do thorough research on the doctors I’m considering. It is all quite overwhelming would you consider to help me ?
Hi Jeff, considering that you have been living in Sabaneta for a while now, what’s the closest (reputable private hospital) from there?
The nearest to Sabaneta of the best private hospitals in Medellín are Clínica las Américas in Belén and Clínica Medellín in El Poblado. Both are about 10 km from Sabaneta, which is about a 25 minute taxi ride not during rush hour.
Thanks a lot for replying so promptly and for the info!
Jeff, thanks for this. Coming to Medellin for a short, 9 day, visit in February. For Americans who are coming to Colombia on holiday, I recommend health insurance that includes direct payment. Ours, from Seven Corners, covers most of the hospitals on your list in Medellin. I looked at the site for Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe and am really impressed. I do not have that level of care available here in Sarasota, Florida. As you stated elsewhere, Panama City has Punta Pacifica which is affiliated with Johns Hopkins International. Once past that in all of Panama, I’d suggest to get to Medellin as quick as you can, if you can. Truly an impressive and effective health system.
Jeff. Thanks for the important update; also the updates of your other posts. Highly appreciated.
I can confirm that the better hospitals in Medellin and Cali (mentioned here and in the Latin America hospital ranking website) have excellent doctors who have been trained abroad mostly and also speak English. The service and seriousness are outstanding, near the level from Switzerland with one of the best health care system worldwide.
Anyone living at the cost in Colombia and needs to have a surgery shall fly to Bogota, Medellin or Cali. Colombia has also great health insurance companies.
Which are the best hospitals in Cartagena?
No hospitals in Cartagena made it on the list of the best hospitals in Latin America. The newest and most modern hospital in Cartagena is Hospital Universitario Carlos Haime de Serena del Mar that opened early this year.
Would be good if you could provide the insurance companies the best hospitals are affiliated with work with.
Thanks for the suggestion. That will take some time to research but is added to the list of updates planned.
Finally tried Clinica Marly last December for lab tests, excellent service and purchased discount card “Salud Marly” too.
Been going to that Bancolombia branch all the time and didn’t know that was a hospital (thought it was just a clinic as in the English meaning)
Thinking of going to Columbia for medical assistance. Fundacion Clinica Shaio has been recommended in Bogota. What do you think or what have you heard about them?
Mary, I recommend Fundacion Santa Fe (Usaquen – Joint Commission Internationally Accredited, has International Department, used them 5+ years now) or Clinica Marly. saludos