In-depth guide for foreigners living in the DR.

Healthcare in the Dominican Republic

Foreigners in the DR can access top-quality and affordable healthcare. Learn more.

Graphic of doctor, hospital and healthcare items

Resource: Guide

Health & Safety, Lifestyle

World-class healthcare in the Dominican Republic for you and your family

When it comes to healthcare, the Dominican Republic is far ahead of most other Caribbean countries.

Not only is the quality of medical care superior, wait times for treatments are shorter and costs lower.

Here are the key points to know:

  • Private hospitals provide first-rate North American quality care (or even better) at an affordable price.
  • Many doctors trained at medical schools in North America and usually speak English.
  • All medicines are available through hospitals and pharmacies.
  • You can easily obtain affordable and flexible health insurance that will cover your needs. 

As a frequent visitor or resident in the D.R., you can rest easy knowing you can get the care you need if and when you need it.  

Doctor in Dominican hospital cares for smiling patient

If you're living full or part time in the D.R. should you consider healthcare? Yes!

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, hopefully 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.

This is true, 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.

Reforms have accelerated Dominican healthcare

Since reforms in 2001, healthcare in the Dominican Republic has significantly improved.  

To be frank, healthcare in the D.R. is a two-tiered system The top, private tier is designed to provide the best service. The second tier is public and intended for the general public; the quality of care, though better than it was, is still below first-world standards.

The top private tier is the level of care you'd access as a foreigner living in the D.R.

Since these reforms, the D.R. has become known for top-quality medical care, plus world-class facilities and highly-qualified medical professionals. 

Clean, modern healthcare facilities + well-educated physicians

Twenty years ago, the Dominican Republic significantly reformed its healthcare system.

Now, in the big cities and major tourist areas like the North Coast and Punta Cana, the quality of healthcare is first rate.

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.

Modern cardio care at hospital in D.R.

One tip:

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.

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.

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.

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. 

For a couple, the average cost of an advanced plan will cost around $700 to $1500 USD per year. 

Typically, plans will cover:

  • doctor’s visits
  • hospital stays
  • in-hospital medicines
  • dental procedures
  • ambulance services
  • transport costs back to your home country for additional care

Health insurance plans are offered on a yearly basis for full-time residents, or quarterly basis, a perfect choice for Snowbirds.

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 on the D.R.'s North Coast

People are often surprised by just how advanced the level of medical care is on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic.

With the large number of expats who have made their homes on the North Coast for decades, it’s no surprise the medical services available in Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete are as good as you'd get back home.

Centro Medico Cabarete, Cabarete & Sosua

Almost all of your medical needs can be attended to at Centro Medico Cabarete, located 5 minutes from Cabarete. It's a modern, clean and professionally facilty run by an Argentine doctor and his wife. English speaking staff are available.

At this full service hospital, you can access specialists for a range of medical issues,

  • Level 4 Intensive Care Unit
  • modern lab
  • full service surgery
  • diagnostic equipment (MRI).  
Bournigal Hospital, Puerto Plata

Bournigal Hospital, Puerto Plata

Bournigal in Puerto Plata is a private hospital with excellent facilities and well-trained doctors. 

Hospital Metropolitan in Santiago against city skyline

Hospital Metropolitan de Santiago provides advanced medical care to international patients.

Metropolitan Hospital of Santiago

For more advanced treatments and more specialized services, there's HOMS Hospital in Santiago, 1 hour away.

This is a world-class facility and a destination provider of healthcare treatments for people from around the world. HOMS specializes in oncology, heart health, and even has robotic surgery options.

Healthcare in the Punta Cana region

Punta Cana has private hospitals with modern medical facilities and qualified professionals. Most hospitals have multilingual staff. Most private clinics and hospitals should accept your healthcare insurance.

Hospital in Punta Cana

Hospital IMG, Bavaro, Punta Cana

One of the best hospitals in the area is the Hospital IMG. The Hospital International Medical Group is a third level hospital center in Bávaro, Punta Cana. Built and equipped with high tech equipment, according to international standards and current standards of the Ministry of Health of the Dominican Republic.

This includes an advanced Cardiology Unit, with state of the art equipment to prevents, diagnose and treat heart disease. The hospital's cardiology specialists are experts in their field. 

Staff are bilingual and well-trained staff. 

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.

Dreaming DR can help you be prepared. Get in touch if you'd like more information about healthcare services on the North Coast and health insurance options.

Check out these other useful resources

Guide: Residency
Video: Big Island
North Coast Changes