If I were visiting or living in Dominican Republic, what would happen if I needed to visit a hospital? What about my family or friends?
It’s something many foreigners wonder about when considering the DR as a place to visit regularly or live permanently.
First, when it comes to healthcare, hopefuly you won’t ever need it.
But if you do, you want to be sure you and your family can get (and pay for) the care you need.
Whether you’ll be regularly vacationing in the Dominican Republic or moving here full time, it’s important to know about your health care options.
Fortunately, here on the North Coast you can expect top-level care from well-trained, English-speaking staff.
Clean, Modern Healthcare Facilities + Well-Educated Physicians
Fifteen years ago, the Dominican Republic significantly reformed its health care system. In the big cities and major tourist areas like the North Coast, the quality of health care is first rate.
With the large number of expats living on the North Coast, it’s no surprise that the medical services available in Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete are as good as you’d get back home.
Major surgeries and more specialized services are available at a large hospital in Santiago, only an hour south.
At both hospitals and private clinics, doctors and other medical staff are well-trained. They’re often educated abroad, mostly in the United States. And they’ll usually be able to speak to you in English.
If you ever need to visit a hospital or clinic, ask for English-speaking before you’re admitted. That way, you’ll fully understand procedures, processes and pricing.
Private Clinics for Elective Treatments
The DR attracts people looking for high-end medical services, including laser surgeries and dentistry.
This include medical tourists from the United States, Canada and Europe. As well, many people from other Caribbean islands visit for the medical expertise here in the DR.
These types of services are usually offered at private clinics with the most modern equipment and staffed by physicians who are often educated in North America.
Prices are usually quite reasonable, especially compared to what you’d pay in the United States.
A Doctor for You & Your Family
General practitioners and family doctors aren’t very common in the DR.
Instead of a GP, you can choose an internist (and a pediatrician for children), who you can see for basic needs and referrals to specialists as required.
Your Health Insurance Options
As an expat in the Dominican Republic, you’ll need private health insurance or complementary insurance to fill any gaps in coverage costs, i.e. what you have to pay for each visit or treatment.
Medical insurance plans come in various types:
- Broad Coverage: Covers your medical expenses, possibly including medications. You’ll still need to have the cash to pay the bill at the time services are provided.
- Partial Coverage: Covers a certain portion of each bill. For example, you might be responsible for RD$50-RD$100 of any doctor’s fee of RD$600 (RD is Dominican Republic pesos). With this coverage, you’re restricted to a list of physicians or clinics, which will change from time to time.
- Foreign Insurance: Foreign insurance companies operating in the DR (primarily from the US) offer insurance that includes coverage abroad. This insurance is really only for major care, so to reduce the cost, purchase a policy with a very high deductible (excess) for overseas care.
Healthcare Peace of Mind
You deserve to enjoy your time on the North Coast worry-free.
Hopefully, you’ll never need to use health care services here.
However, it’s good to know you and your family can get and pay for care, should it be needed.
As always, Villas Marinas is here to help you be prepared. Get in touch if you’d like more information about healthcare services on the North Coast and health insurance options.