Medical travel and the bridge between care and recovery

The services provided by the recovery houses range from a chef, to nutritionists, nurses, internists, and a multidisciplinary team.

Recovery house - Dominican Republic - dohealthwell
Source: Pexels

There are many uncertainties that arise before and after a surgical intervention, a post-surgery scenario often unimaginable that without good care and medical attention could put at risk the return of the patient to a normal life, and even lead to a re-entry to the operating room.

However, in an increasingly globalized world there are more innovative minds that decide to undertake projects that, although they constitute a business, also provide opportunities for the well-being and relief of many.

Such is the case of recovery houses, spots created to provide stays during recovery processes, which are monitored by medical and nursing specialists, who provide specialized and appropriate medical care for each case. It is a service that promotes the importance of good postoperative care.

Now that medical tourism is making its way in the Dominican Republic, recovery houses have their role in the country’s effort.

They are physical spaces where patients are received after discharge, making their post-surgical process easier, since they are given medical attention and care with a highly qualified health staff, from the time they arrive until they leave.

This is explained by Rocío Ortega, vice president of the Dominican Association of Recovery Houses and creator of Ortega Medical Spa and Recovery House, in an interview with Resumen de Salud.

“Ortega Medical Spa Recovery House is a place that was born from the need to have a space where post-surgical patients can find all the necessary conditions for a successful recovery”, she said.

She added that, given the growth that the Dominican Republic has had as a health tourism destination, these places have been created to provide optimal service to patients who require post-operative and hotel care.

Importance of recovery

Rocío Ortega emphasized that it is of the utmost importance that local patients go to a recovery house the first five days after their surgery, for medical monitoring, food and hydration, in addition to the proper control and management of the medication.

It clarifies that most of them are foreign patients who come to the country to perform operations and then choose a recovery house here, which guarantees them to return to their normal routine, without any inconvenience.

These spaces receive patients from any surgical intervention; but mostly they are in the plastic surgery, bariatric surgery, as well as dental services regimes, in the latter they are mostly patients from abroad who come to perform any type of oral treatment.

In the case of foreign patients (which constitute 80 percent, since they choose the Dominican Republic as their health destination to perform any surgical procedure), Ortega said that these business initiatives are responsible for picking them at the airport, taking them to their respective doctor and appointments as part of their follow-up therapy and take them to the airport when they are already discharged to return to their country of origin.

5 star health hotel

These centers offer doctors of various specialties, certified nurses and even chefs, as well as cleaning and chauffeur service staff.

All rooms have a position bed, air conditioning, Smart TV, bathrooms inside the rooms and even patient assistance doorbells.

They provide patients with breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks, natural juices, bottle water, milk, coffee. And he is monitored for his general physical condition twice a day.

In the Dominican Republic there is currently a very high percentage, which is increasing every year, of patients looking for Dominican doctors for their excellent work and also request the services of the recovery house in order to achieve a better and successful recovery.

Therefore, “we are increasingly committed to offering a quality service that meets international standards,” said Rocío Ortega.

Conditions for the patient

The patient must be stable in order to be discharged and subsequently be received in a recovery house.

He must have been referred by a member doctor of the Dominican Society of Plastic Surgery (SODOCIPRE), in case he has undergone, specifically, a plastic surgery; and you must stay the time required by your doctor in the country, as well as respect the rules of the recovery house where you are staying.

Who regulates them?

After the controversy unleashed that there has been a significant number of deaths in surgery and cosmetic centers in the country, the Ministry of Public Health issued a resolution regulating plastic surgeries.

This is resolution 006, transitory, with which it attempts to regulate the practice of cosmetic surgeries of an aesthetic type in the country.

The provision contains a series of measures that will be in force until the Ministry, with the collaboration of specialized medical societies, develops regulations, regulatory guidelines and relevant protocols.

The measure also covers Recovery Houses that offer services without an authorization license, which must cease their functions until authorization is granted, care for patients undergoing cosmetic surgery.

Therefore, the owners of these establishments have two months from the publication of said resolution (to request accreditation, if they will not be closed definitively.

“That resolution regulates, establishes a series of deadlines, for which the recovery houses, which have not done the housing process, do so,” said the medical lawyer, Gilberto Objío Subero.

This provision was issued on June 26, 2009, but what has happened so far?

According to information issued by the Habilitation and Accreditation Department of the Ministry of Health, during 2019 only eight of these Recovery and Clinical Care Services have been registered, of which seven are enabled, since one lost the license due to change of address .

Patients are transferred to these services 48 hours after surgery, after being discharged to begin the recovery process.

Little supervision and few accredited

Some recovery houses operate in homes initially built as a family home and were transformed into these centers.

In other cases in hotels that enable rooms for these purposes, in apartment towers or other spaces not suitable for medical care. Most operate without supervision of health authorities.

The Dominican Association of Recovery Houses claims there are 23 of those registered centers, of which only 10 are certified by the Ministry of Public Health.

The procedures for obtaining these permits are extremely rigid and important and merit a series of requirements.

It is required, although without the rigor of the law, to be counted on the blessing of the Dominican Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (SODOCIPRE).

Road to certification and licensing

Accompanying services to cosmetic surgery patients in the country began in isolation around the years of 1996 with the assistants of the doctors who provided this service.

Then, in the 2000s, the number of recovery houses increased and they adapted and modernized with the new techniques and equipment.

In 2013, a group led by Ángela Castro decided to plan the creation of an association to be able to control and improve the services provided to patients, achieving in 2014 to choose a management committee for the creation of society.

But it was not until June 2017 when Rocío Ortega and Massiel Cisneros, worried about the issue of regularization before the country’s health institutions and the growth of recovery houses without any regulation or quality standards, began the management.

At that time, more than 20 owners of recovery houses were grouped and signed the statutes and the minutes of constituent assemblies of the nascent Dominican Association of Recovery Houses of the Dominican Republic. (ADOCARE).

Dr. José Alonso León Ortiz, president of the entity, was elected as executives, who was accompanied by José Manuel Tejeda, Carmen Alonzo, Massiel Cisneros, Kelvin Eusebio and Ycelsy Jiménez.

The organization meets frequently to chart actions and links with private institutions and monitor health and emergency services, doctors and cosmetic surgery associations.

Thanks to the work of the entity, it was possible that the Directorate of Qualifications of the Ministry of Health of the country granted the license to several of the members, making them the association with the largest number of qualified members of the country.

Service levels

The services provided by the recovery houses range from a chef, to nutritionists, nurses, internists, and a multidisciplinary team.

Many of these houses are also responsible for taking patients to medical appointments after the procedure and in the case of foreigners, this accompaniment is given until the day they leave for their country of origin.

Source: Resumen de Salud