Health Care in the DR.


We are a Canadian couple considering a move to the DR.
Can you tell us what the level of health care is? Or do expats go back to Canada for surgeries or more serious ailments?

You are better off to do them here honey if you have insurance here. NO waiting lines for anything. Need an MRI, same day or next day.  Surgery is done quickly and fairly efficiently depending who your doctor and clinic are. 

Some things need to be done in Santiago or Santo Domingo.

I responded to your private message as well!

Welcome to the forums and to your future life here.

Thanks for the reply.

You are very welcome

I have been here a long time. During my sojourn here it has come to pass that I needed medical attention.  From a dog bite, getting run down by a moto to intensive care & the attendant 3 week follow up.  Having had a wild & active youth, I'm no stranger to clinics, doctors & hospitals.  Sutures & contusions, broken bones etc, are not foreign to me.  The care That I have received upon occasion here in the DR has been exemplary. The level of competence has matched anywhere I've been.  Not always the best of housing but care & concern matched the better funded operations. I have no hesitation being treated here for any procedure.  You're in good hands.  Who needs A.C. when they are saving your life?

Ok I am going to disagree for the most part. Unless you are in Santiago or Santo Domingo where the health car can be adequate and even good in some places, your care will be minimal and third world in many  places.  Medical school here is a joke and most locally trained docs are not that good.  If you can find a Doctor who has done at a good part of his/her training outside of the DR (US, Cuba, Argentina, Europe) then you will be in better hands.

If I had a major illness or needed any kind of major surgery (I have had minor surgery here at HOMS in Santiago) I would be on the next flight back to the US and if serious enough on a medivac air flight.  If you are an Expat here evacuation insurance is a must.

I am not speaking with no knowledge.  I am a retired physician from the US

Bob K

Wow...conflicting views on healthcare.

Bob is very correct in that santiaho and SD are your best bets for anything serious. 

Know who your doctor is. Know how and where they were educated.

Most doctors are not well trained.

That said there are excellent doctors and excellent clinics here, you have to find them.

Travel evacuation insurance is important to many. If you want info just ask me, it is available here!

I defer to you Bob, your area of medical knowledge has enabled you to have an unique viewpoint on health care in the DR.  I have been fortunate to receive great care. Pay attention to him, he is the expert, certainly not me.

Thanks to you all for the responses.

You are very welcome.

You are welcome.
Bob K

Recently heard of a French guy who had an infected leg. Here they wanted to amputate. So he went to Guadalupe island, where they cured it.  Many gringos say the hc is really good here, but only till they set something serious, then they go back to 'the world' to get patched up.

Accident, punctured lung, broken ribs, drowning in my own blood. Bornigal. Instanly x-rayed,to ICU, chest tube, oxygen, four days. Then private room, A/C, tubes everywhere, cat scans,more x-rays, sonogram, constant medical attention, 24/7, another cat scan,more sonograms. !6 days in bed. TV, private bath. Nurses and or doctor every two hours. I was told that I was two hours from death when I had arrived in the ER. The food sucked as normal in a hospital. Post op care & instructions were precise & clear, both in English & Spanish.  I had health insurance that paid all but a few thousand pesos. This experience is why I have faith in the health care here. I have also had lens replacement & laser retinal tacking in Santiago. Internationally recognized opthomalogist.  Pablo & Sebastian Guzman   at Clinica Corminus. (sp) For more info, PM me.

An out-lier.....and really, really lucky.   Of course if they have to scrape you off the road, you have no choice.  But if one can get away, like the French guy, most do.

The key to your post Tinker - YOU HAD INSURANCE!

Private clinics range from good to awesome!  Doctors range from horrible to awesome.  Do your homework.

Without insurance or CASH MONEY, you go to public hospitals which range from  Horrible to ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Doctors range from  fresh out of school to I can't get a job in a good clinic!  Don't get me wrong,  they are often caring people who are really trying! They have no resources,  little training and little help!

What does out-lier mean?  Everyone should have health insurance with out doubt.   Out-lier ........ hummm.

Ahhh but so many do not have anything. And I am talking expats.  Many think they don't need it.................until they do and it is too late.

Cedula, drivers license & health insurance were the first things I did upon moving here. I knew of the surprises that life could bring.

Has anyone purchased local Dominican Insurance IN ADDITION to their US insurance?  Needed or not? Helpful to avoid out of pocket expenses? Does it allow for access to better facilities? We currently have Florida Blue (BC/BS), but will be in the Dominican republic for 9 or 10 months this year.


Your BC/BS will not be of much use to you here.  Some of the hospitals will help you submit your bills but you will be spending $$$$ out of pocket.
I am not sure you can get local insurance just for 9 or 10 months.  And usually, and Planner can correct me as she is involved in local insurance, you will be covered only for emergencies for the first 6 months.
You might check if your BS/BC had a travel option.


We can arrange it. You are covered for everything except pre existing conditions and of course emergencies.  Dental has basic coverage for first 6 months. After that full dental kicks in.

My clients who come every year for 5 to 8 months pay the insurance 12 months of the year so they don't have to keep reapplying! The cost is very reasonable compared to the USA.  If you are coming back the following year, just keep it in place.

See I knew she would have the answers :D
Bob K

Gracias Bob!  ;)

Thanks everyone!

Planner has been a great help. Working with her to get everything we need in place.

Coming back tomorrow - hope to meet up with everyone soon!


Looking forward to it John!    And thanks for the nice comments!!!  :proud

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