Costa Rica to Begin Recognizing Same-Sex Couples in Healthcare Matters

Late last week, officials with the Costa Rican Social Security System (Caja) approved reforms that will now grant same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples in public health care matters – such as visitation rights, insurance coverage and the ability to make medical decisions. 

The Tico Times reports:

Costa ricaGiovanny Delgado, a Caja employee and member of the Diversity Movement, said that for the first time in Costa Rica, same-sex couples officially are recognized with the same rights as heterosexual couples.

“It is an enormously important step. It is historical in Costa Rica,” Delgado said.

The reform proposals were initiated by Caja board member José Luis Loría, and will change Article 10 of the Caja’s health regulations, which defines a patient’s partner as a person – man or woman – who lives in a free, stable union “under the same roof with another person of the opposite sex.”

Marco Castillo, president of Diversity Movement recalled cases where “patients have died in the hospital 15 days after becoming ill and they were unable to be accompanied by their partners” because the law did not recognize same-sex couples. 

Caja officials now will have three months to implement the measures.