According to a preliminary study presented by Rafael Paz, executive director of the National Competitiveness Council, the Dominican Republic ranks 5th on Medical Travel Industry in Latin America.
“The data indicates that between 30 and 35 thousand international patients arrived in the country 2017 in search of medical assistance, with average costs that reach 5,000 thousand dollars, while 75% pay cash,” said Paz at the 4th International Health and Wellness Tourism Congress, held in Santo Domingo on September 5-7th.
The executive highlighted that the trend “moves more than nine million Europeans, who spend around 75,000 million euros annually; and an increase to 2020 of 90% is expected.”
Dominican Republic Ranks 5th on Medical Travel Industry in Latin America
Based on the preliminary competitiveness study, the average hospital capacity per health center that offers medical tourism services has 230 beds with 85% occupancy, 16 beds for Intensive Care Units for adults and 9 for neonates with 74% occupancy. The study in full is expected to come out this year.
A great indicator of the quality of Medical Travel to the Dominican Republic is the percentage of people that are willing to refer others.
“The study reveals that 92% of the people surveyed who make health tourism in the Dominican Republic, recommend the country after performing some medical procedure and 75% described the experience as “excellent” during the trip.
On Medical Tourism Index, the Dominican Republic ranks 15th, competing with countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia.
Rafael Paz said that in order to get the Dominican Republic to reach the presidential goal of receiving 10 million tourists by 2020, we must contribute to the transformation of the tourism offer, emphasizing on health services and medicine.
Paz pointed out the competitive advantage that the Dominican Republic offers on medical travel:
- Excellent and strategic geographical location
- Air connectivity
- Macroeconomic stability
- Qualified medical centers that have the avant-garde high-tech equipment.
- Accredited personnel
“We are going to make a bet for this industry, let’s work together; government, private sector, and medical societies to make Medical Travel a country brand,” Paz said.
The report shows that the main services offered by the country are:
- Dental treatments
- Aesthetic surgeries
- Orthopedic surgery
- Cardiovascular surgery
- Bariatric surgery
- Ophthalmological surgery
- Robotic surgery
Competitiveness Study on Medical Travel
The competitiveness study on Medical Travel in the Dominican Republic from the National Competitiveness Council included a comparative analysis of different destinations and in-depth interviews with public and private sector personalities.
The work follows up the inter-institutional cooperation agreement with the Dominican Association of Health Tourism, signed by Dr. Alejandro Cambiaso and Rafael Paz on November 17′.
Lourdes Russa de Cabrera, the principal consultant, is an expert in the development and management of tourism projects, planning, and management of destinations and their associated regulatory frameworks.
Additionally, the following was addressed:
- Differences of Medical and Health Tourism
- Market niche value
- Creation of wealth and jobs
- New investments, technology transfer, and knowledge.