Debtors can only get emergency service

Public medical providers can deny non-emergency service to those who are not up to date with payments.

That is a decision from the Sala IV constitutional court.

The case arose from an April appeal from a patent who was denied service at the Tibás clinic. The Sala IV said it would have been appropriate for the public clinic workers to charge for the services or to effect collection of the amount outstanding.

The clinic is run by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. Generally everyone can receive emergency treatment at clinics and hospitals, including tourists, although the Caja may make an effort to collect later.

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