Is “Medical Tourism” safe in Colombia?

Is it safe? Can I get my cosmetic surgery done without waking up in a hotel bathroom with a kidney missing? Will they take care of me? Is the level of care the same as the USA?

Let’s use the facts and back those up with more facts and common sense. Just because you are traveling to Colombia in search of that dream cosmetic surgery or possibly a much needed medical procedure that your insurance doesn’t cover does not mean that you are skimping on quality and proper care. Colombia has it’s own board certifying and credentialing body which is known as the “Sociedad Colombiana de Cirugía Plástica Estética y Reconstructiva” located here They are also a global alliance partner of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Many doctors, surgeons and popular websites like will tell you to make sure you find surgeons that fall under these certifications before making your final choice.

Via a large sum of major reports, Colombia has an exceptional healthcare system in place as well as award-winning and internationally certified hospitals and clinics where your surgeon or doctor will operate out of.

Note: If you are traveling to any foreign country normally you read up on the destination, current events, browse social media, take a look at Trip Advisor or even ask around if people you know have already been. That due diligence will keep you from making the mistake of choosing unqualified doctors or surgeons for your procedure.

We have a solid checklist below that will put your fears to rest about medical tourism in Colombia.

#1 – Prepare ahead of time. This means looking up your surgeon(s) or using an agency that will look multiple doctors or surgeons specifically for your needs & research and communicate with them in the native language. For example, in Colombia the main language spoken is Spanish. This means no long distance calls to a foreign country hoping they speak English or trying to communicate about something that is very important to be clear about. No wait times, no missing office hours due to timezone differences and no issues with communication.

To save yourself from being frustrated sometimes it’s advisable to use the resources in place that can make your life easier which is why MEDtour Colombia exists today.

Information that we provide for our clients prior to confirming the surgery date:

– Clinics and/or hospitals that have zero (0) deaths. Meaning no fatalities under the knife.
– Doctors/Surgeons with zero (0) fatalities under their belt.
– Certifications and/or accreditations of the facilities where you procedure/surgery will be held.
– Review the Before and After photography from the surgeon you are researching.
– Certifications/Qualifications of the board certified surgeon you decide to choose.

#2 – Pre and Post Surgery needs. Prior to your surgery you will need an evaluation from the surgeon you choose.  A virtual consultation is what we use for face to face chats with the surgeon along with a translator that will ensure you are able to understand everything the Doctor is saying. This will include necessary medical documentation, to aide the doctor in his evaluation. When sending your blood work tests and/or any other applicable medical documents he/she may need it is wise to have these documents scanned for a much easier and faster way to get your virtual consultation scheduled.

If you have an extensive procedure done like Liposuction or Knee Surgery, you won’t be jumping out of the operating room ready to travel back home right away.  Staying in a hotel is an option, however they hotel will not provide you care for when you need to go to the bathroom or clean up the blood from your bandages.

When abroad in Colombia the ideal setting for surgeries that require a recovery time that is more than a few days is a Care Plan. At MEDtour Colombia we provide a care plan that covers the needs of our clients.


  • Research of the procedure.
  • Choosing the right surgeon.
  • Travel reservations to Colombia.
  • Transportation while in Colombia.
  • Translation/Interpreter for non-spanish speakers.
  • Luxury 5-star apartment suite accommodations for your stay.
  • 24/7 nurse care for post-surgery needs.
  • A personal chef for your meals while you are recovering.
  • Spa services that include massages and pampering before you return home.

This level of service should be the standard for any individual making the trip to Colombia for medical tourism. Our goal is to place the level of service at the same level as what you may find in the United States or higher.

You as the patient/client should keep your standards high as well.

Why Colombia is one the best Medical Tourism destinations?

Many individuals outside of Colombia have a broad mis-conception as to what the healthcare conditions are like in the Colombia. However, the numbers actually speak for themselves with the country pulling in over $356 million dollars in revenue from foreigners in 2013 and 2014 with double that in 2015 alone. If that isn’t enough, here are the facts in detail that I pulled from one of our brochures we use when presenting Medellín, Colombia as a medical tourism destination for our clients:

The “Sociedad Colombiana de Cirugía Plástica, Estética y Reconstructiva” or in English; The Colombian Society for Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery is a Global Alliance Partner of IPRAS or the (International Confederation for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery)

How IPRAS Promotes Safety Internationally

Surgeon qualifications. IPRAS promotes global safety in aesthetic plastic surgery by ensuring that members are highly qualified. Patients can be confident that IPRAS members belong to their leading national societies of plastic surgery, have a record of being safe and ethical, and have been in active practice for at least 3 years.

Surgeon training. To promote aesthetic education worldwide, the IPRAS Education Council offers symposia, endorsed programs and instructional courses to members. The IPRAS Visiting Professors Program takes aesthetic education to countries around the world making training in the latest techniques and advances more accessible to a greater population of surgeons.

When working with Colombian Board Certified surgeons you are assured they are practicing at a standard that is equal to the surgeons in the United States and as a side note the amount of Colombian surgeons that are American IPRAS and ISAPS (International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) members is growing everyday.

Outside of certification, membership also requires a plastic surgeon to regularly attend continuing medical education courses, perform a minimum amount of aesthetic plastic surgery procedures and to adhere to a code of ethics.

More about IPRAS here
More about ISAPS here

What about the medical facilities?

AAAASFI Certification
The American Association for Accreditation for Ambulatory Surgery Facilities International, (AAAASFI) has developed a global program to inspect and accredit surgery and dental clinics who exceed superior standards. All accredited clinics must pass inspection of all practice standards in the following categories: General environment and safety, Operating room environment, Policies and procedures, Recovery room environment, Blood and medications, Medical records, Quality assessment, Personnel and staff and Anesthesia.

In the city of Medellín where Medical Tourism in Colombia operates, there are 3 clinics that have this obtained this certification.

More about the American Association for Accreditation for Ambulatory Surgery Facilities International here

Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation
A globally recognized achievement in quality improvement and patient safety. An elite group of over 700 organizations that have achieved Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation and earned the Gold Seal of Approval® in quality and patient safety.

4 hospitals in Colombia have obtained this certification including the #9 ranked hospital (Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe) in all of Latin American located in Medellín.

* Rankings via Ránking Mejores Hospitales y Clínicas 2015
More about Joint International Commission here

National Standards
On a national level all clinics, operating rooms and hospitals in the city are overseen and supervised by the Colombian government program from the Minister of Health called “Supersalud”, which is partnered with the World Health Organization to protect the Health rights of individuals in the country through transparent and opportune monitoring, surveillance and control mechanisms.

The National Superintendence of Health in Colombia will is recognized nationally and internationally, as the leading entity of the inspection, surveillance, and monitor system of the health sector and protects the rights of the health users taking into account prevention and efficiency, offering sustainability and trustworthiness to the health system and its orders.​​

More about Supersalud here

This post is based on my original answer to the question on Quora located here. If this information was helpful or you need your questions answered, contact us and we will respond directly with the information you seek. Thank you!

The Facts on Medical Tourism in Colombia

Thank you for checking out this post. If you find anything valuable or could be useful for a friend please share our content or check us out on Instagram & Facebook.

Everyone has mixed thoughts about Colombia. The majority know what they “know” from movies, exaggerated news stories and other misinformation that can lead people to blindly believe that the country is “too dangerous”.

We want to take the veil off the whole subject regarding tourists coming to Colombia and really give you insight on what Colombia has to offer in terms Plastic & Cosmetic surgery, Medical procedures that your insurance doesn’t cover, Optical procedures, Fertility needs, Dental surgery and much more. It won’t be easy, there is a whole lot to cover. Hopefully if you follow along closely we can ensure you become knowledgeable about these areas with our blog to get the facts about medical tourism in Colombia.

If you have any questions please contact us directly or ask us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or wherever you like to hange out.

Hasta Luego!