Health tourism to the Dominican economy adds 265 million dollars in revenue

In 2020 we hope that more health centers, agreements with Central American and Caribbean entities and even stronger ties of collaboration with the embassies of the United States and Canada.

2019 was a key year for health tourism in the Dominican Republic.

Some centers achieved international certifications and the first Dominican health tour operator was launched in Madrid, Spain.

Agreements were also signed with financial entities such as Banco Lafise, which has a presence in 11 countries to facilitate financing for elective medical treatments to the Dominican Republic.

Edgar del Toro and Dr. Alejandro Cambiaso signed a collaboration agreement in the Dominican Republic. dohealthwell

The information was offered by the Dominican Health Tourism Association (ADTS) through a document requested by Diario Libre, a local Dominican newspaper, where they stated that May was a key month for the sector because of the launch of the first Study and Diagnosis of Health Tourism in the Dominican Republic and the proposals of strategy development and quality seal.

The entity quotes that “the National Competitiveness Council, the Dominican Health Tourism Association, the Ministries of Health and Tourism and Asonahores agreed to work on the regulation, incentive and promotion of Dominican medical tourism”.

The Study and Diagnosis of Health Tourism in the Dominican Republic, authored by Lourdes Russa, details that health tourism in the Dominican Republic in 2018 generated an average income of USD$ 265.1 million dollars, according to estimates from providers of health services and specialized societies. A year before, the average income was 230 million dollars.

“The work of the Dominican Health Tourism Association has focused on generating alliances and institutionalizing medical tourism, making our native talent known and promoting compliance with quality standards and safety of services as essential factors to enter this niche market”, explains the document from ADTS, headed by Alejandro Cambiaso and Amelia Reyes Mora, president and vice president of the Dominican Association of Health Tourism (ADTS).

It details that the events that contributed significantly to the quality of services have been international accreditations of health centers.

The Espaillat Cabral Institute became the first Dominican health center, and the first outside the United States to receive the HFAP international quality accreditation in health.

HFAP Accreditation to Espaillat Cabral Institute in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Antonio Acosta-Rua, managing director of HFAP, Dr. Arnaldo Espaillat, and Claudia Arvelo.

Likewise, the document explains, the Punta Cana Medical Center, a member of the Rescue Group, was accredited, which received the certificate through the Qmentum International-Accreditation Canada (AC) program.

Centro Medico Punta Cana Accreditacion Canada - dohealthwell
Source: Centro Medico Punta Cana

This event being a milestone for Dominican medicine. “This undoubtedly generates confidence, but at the same time it is a challenge for the other centers that must follow these steps to continue strengthening the country’s positioning as a safe health destination.”

“There is no doubt that medical tourism has earned its place in the tourism sector, proof of this was the recognition by Adompretur to the Dominican Health Tourism Association (ADTS) at the Epifanio Lantigua Award, recognizing health tourism as a new strength of the tourism industry.

Galardón Luis Augusto Caminero - ADTS

The ADTS is part of the board of directors of Asonahores and is working hand in hand with the Health Tourism Directorate of the Ministry of Tourism”, says the document.

He also reports that another important event was the inauguration of the first Advanced Cardiology Unit in the east of the country of the International Medical Group (IMG) on November 14.

Likewise, executives of the Dominican Association of Health Tourism (ADTS) highlighted the first sting of the Professional Tower and Hotel HOMS, as well as the inauguration of Meta Integra, a center of excellence for bariatric surgery, ranking Santiago de los Caballeros as a bright spot for medical tourism.

Inauguración Meta Integra - HOMS - dohealthwell
Dominican president Danilo Medina; the minister of Public Health Dr. Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas, and high-profile member of the public and private sector supported the opening of Meta Integra. Source: HOMS.

“This year for the first time the Latin American Congress of Digital Health was held in the country, a meeting point for the main actors in the health and technology sector, an activity that seeks to promote innovation and improve the quality of health services, a pillar essential to offer a competitive service in health tourism”, said the institution.

Challenges for 2020

The Dominican Association of Health Tourism (ADTS) told Diario Libre that 2019 was a year of great progress, but where there were great challenges such as evidence of intrusion, plastic surgery centers not enabled performing procedures that complicated, infections associated with medical care, among other mishaps.

All this calls us to regulate the niche.

“It is time to make a serious commitment to reduce infections associated with medical care, establish and comply with protocols, strengthen inspections and be truly vigilant of quality and safety.

He notes that the formalization and implementation of the health tourism council is pending, to implement the quality seal, as well as to ensure the achievement of international accreditations of plastic and dental surgery centers, the two areas where more international patients visit us .

More severe consequences are required for intrusion, as well as for health centers that operate without being enabled. We also need to create a true culture of quality and safety that benefits local patients and tourists.

The competition of all entities that have a direct impact on health tourism is required in order to consolidate an exportable health product that is part of our country brand, for these purposes we have been working with Cei-RD, Mitur, MSP, Mirex and the health centers that have assumed the commitment of excellence.

In 2020 we hope that more health centers, agreements with Central American and Caribbean entities and even stronger ties of collaboration with the embassies of the United States and Canada, the main source of tourists for our country, and continue the international accreditations.

The association will also continue to create more alliances, particularly with absent Dominicans and knowledge exchange programs and new investments.