What is healthcare in Nicaragua like?

Facilities and Health Information

Medical care is very limited, particularly outside of Managua. Basic and emergency medical services are available in Managua and in many of the smaller towns and villages. However, treatment for many serious medical problems is either unavailable or available only in Managua. Ambulance services, where available, provide transportation and basic first aid only. More advanced medical equipment, and some medications and treatments, are not available in Nicaragua. Physicians and hospital personnel frequently do not speak English, and medical reports are written in Spanish.

In an emergency, individuals are taken to the nearest hospital that will accept a patient. This is usually a public hospital unless the individual or someone acting on their behalf indicates that they can pay for a private hospital. Payment for medical services is typically done on a cash basis, although some private hospitals will accept major credit cards for payment. U.S. health insurance plans are generally not accepted in Nicaragua, however, the Embassy has been informed that Hospital Metropolitano in Managua accepts Blue Cross Blue Shield and Tricare.

Tap water is not considered potable in Nicaragua. All persons should drink only bottled water.

Individuals traveling to Nicaragua should ensure that all their routine vaccinations are up to date. Vaccinations against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, rabies, and typhoid are strongly recommended. A yellow fever vaccination is not required to enter Nicaragua unless the traveler has recently visited a country where yellow fever is endemic. Travelers taking prescription medications should bring an adequate supply with them when coming to Nicaragua. Many newer combination medications are not available in local pharmacies.

In July 2013, the Nicaraguan government declared an alert based on an increase in cases of Dengue Fever, H1N1 flu, and leptospirosis. We advise U.S. citizens to take appropriate precautions and consult with your medical professional for advice before you visit Nicaragua.

Drinking Water Source - % of rural population improved


Drinking Water Source - % of total population unimproved


Drinking Water Source - % of urban population improved


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


People Living with HIV/AIDS


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Sanitation Facility Access - % of total population unimproved


Sanitation Facility Access - % of urban population improved


Sanitation Facility Access - % of rural population improved


Infectious Diseases - degree of risk


Food or Waterborne Disease (s)

bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

Vectorborne Disease (s)

dengue fever and malaria

Disability Access In Nicaragua


While in Nicaragua, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Nicaraguan law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities, but in practice such discrimination is widespread in employment, education, access to health care, and the provision of state services.

There is limited to no accessibility in public transportation, including few sidewalks and road crossings. Government clinics and hospitals provide care for persons with disabilities, but the quality of care is generally poor.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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