It is not unusual for large companies or large hotels to offer their staff the benefit of medical attention. However, it is very unusual for small companies and even less hotels, resorts or eco lodges to provide those services for their employees in Costa Rica or Nicaragua.
At Harmony Nosara, a Cayuga Collection Hotel since 2005 located at Playa Guiones in Guanacaste, we started the process five years ago. But it was not until 2013, when a young doctor moved to Nosara and started to work at the local Red Cross. Her name is Jennifer and she has helped us with many guests that suffered minor injuries while surfing.
In 2014, we finished the permitting process and invested about $2,500 in infrastructure, equipment and supplies and were ready to go. Jennifer became the “medica de empresa” of Harmony and is attending Harmony staff and their children two times per week now.
We started with blood exams and electrocardiograms and until now have done over 25 PapTests (more than 50% of our female staff). One important side effect of this program was the awareness that was created about Dengue Fever which can become a threat to communities in the rainy season months.
In the first six months of the program, we attended 264 patients of which 16% were children of staff members. And here is the big result:
Between January 2014 to May 2014, we had a monthly average of 4.6 staff members that missed work because of health issues. After we launched the program, the monthly average has dropped to less than 2.
We pay for the drugs and some treatments that the doctor prescribes and so far, the total cost for drugs adds up to $1.200, divided between the more than 250 patients we have taken care of, it’s a $4,80 investment per patient.
We were so impressed with those results that we are in the process of implementing this program at the other Cayuga Collection Hotels in Manuel Antonio, Uvita, Osa Peninsula, Santa Teresa and Lake Nicaragua. We think that even employees of 6 room hotels should have the benefit of access to excellent health service.