The Dominican Republic has established itself as one of the leading medical tourism destinations in the Caribbean, ranking second in Latin America and 19th globally. This is due to the 262,902 patients who used health services in 2022, spending six times more than traditional tourists.
The data was presented at the Sixth International Congress on Health and Wellness Tourism, which was held in the country this week. This event brings together personalities from the world of medicine, tourism and finance, both from the country and the region.
Most health tourism facilities are located in the southeast region, including Santo Domingo, Punta Cana, and La Romana, as well as the northern Cibao region, in cities like Santiago and Puerto Plata.
How much does this represent in foreign currency…
The congress report highlights that visitors coming to the country for medical treatment spend six times more than the average tourist. Health tourists spend an average of US$7,500, of which US$5,000 is spent on medical care and the remaining US$2,000 is spent on accommodation and transportation. In 2022, a total of 262,902 international patients arrived in the Dominican Republic, of which 179,085 received dental care, 40,000 underwent plastic surgery, 26,290 other operations and 17,527 received outpatient and preventive care.
There’s still much to do…
According to surveys, the qualifications of the country’s medical personnel are considered positive. However, the report believes that it is necessary to promote innovation and introduce an effective medical certification system to ensure that staff are constantly up to date. On the other hand, the rating of technical and nursing staff was classified as medium to low.
Despite the hospitality and warmth of the Dominican Republic, it has become evident that there are weaknesses in language proficiency, multi-tasking, and strengthening decision-making and technology skills. As the sector diversifies, there are, among others, medical tourism agents, homes and convalescent centers who also need clear regulations to guarantee the transparency and quality of their offers.