Wondering about health care services available in the Dominican Republic and how to access to these? Find out in this article.
If you are moving to the Dominican Republic, you will probably have queries on its health care system and on services available. You should not have to worry as the country has an elaborate health care system which provides quality health care to locals as well as foreigners. However, you are strongly advised to subscribe to a health insurance beforehand. This will be very useful to you, especially in case you require dental or laser surgery.
Health care system
To date, the Dominican Republic attributes 1% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to health care services. However, many measures have been taken by the government so as to decrease the cost of health care services for locals. In fact, gratuities are strictly granted to the most needy according to the following categories:
- the contributory scheme which is funded by workers and their employers
- the subsidized contributory scheme funded by independent professionals, technical workers and independent people. The State is involved through grants and replaces the funding from the employers,
- the subsidized scheme for the poor, unemployed, disabled and other government dependent.
On the other hand, the country has the required expertise in terms of health care. So much so that foreign nationals coming from neighboring countries travel to the Dominican Republic so as to receive appropriate health care. Note that the country is specialized in dental and laser surgery. As regards basic health care services, these are available in local hospitals and clinics.
In the case of foreigner having a health insurance, you will have to turn to a clinic. In fact, you are not likely to have a general or family surgeon. On the contrary, you will be followed by an intern who, if need be, refer you to a consultant.
In the case of foreign workers, some companies provide the Iguala, which is a private health insurance. However, you had better be careful about this insurance for two reasons: on the one hand, you will be affiliated to a private clinic which will take care of you while on the other, you will have to turn to another clinic in case you are suffering from an ailment which is not covered by the clinic where you are affiliated. In this case, you will have to bear all related expenses.
You will have no trouble in finding pharmacies across the country, as well as medication at affordable prices. Moreover, the pharmacist can even issue you medication without prescription, except for medical narcotics, in case of serious illness. In general, pharmacies are open from 8 am to 8 pm.
Foreigners wishing to settle in the Dominican Republic are strongly advised to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, typhoid and rabies. In case you are traveling to remote areas, it is recommended that you purchase a first aid kit, anti-malaria pills, mosquito repellents and nets, and wear long sleeves and pants.
In case of emergency, uou are advised to visit the nearest hospital. You can also call for an ambulance by dialing 911.
Below are the phone numbers of two private ambulance companies:
- Movi Med (809 / 532-000 in Santo Domingo, 1-200-0911 from another area of the island.)
- Aero Ambulancia (809 / 826-4100 extension 2222 - 809 / 826-4100 extension 3333 to 829 / 722-4666).