Every year, thousands come to the Dominican Republic for treatments that vary from plastic surgery, oncology, dental, orthopedics, weight loss surgery, among others, which makes medical tourism regulations a must for the tourism powerhouse of the Caribbean.
The International Healthcare Research Center (IHRC) is a non-profit international organization that delivers reliable information on patient demographics, wellness trends, hospital quality, international patient experiences, and outcomes, among others, which ranks Health Tourism destinations on a global scale.
According to the IHCR, the Dominican Republic has a place of privilege in Medical Tourism, since this country came up in 15th place in 2017, after reviewing data from more than 4 thousand respondents and researched 41 destinations based on 34 criteria.
In spite of the above, the Dominican government should in no time adopt a general Law on Medical Tourism to provide broader guarantees to medical travelers and protect the country’s brand.
Main target of the law: Reduce risks for medical travelers
The patient’s safety should be the main purpose of the Law. Hence, setting regulations on every hospital, business, and professionals involved in medical travel should be concern number one.
- Lack of control and regulations is not ideal if we want to preserve the medical traveler’s integrity.
- The Law on Medical Tourism should establish a Council of government officials involved in this area, who would lay down the rules to operate any business related to medical travel.
- The Law also needs to include members of the associations currently working with medical tourism, i.e., the Dominican Association of Health Tourism (ADTS).
- These professionals would be responsible for the development of the medical tourism regulations and the specific requirements and standards to operate any business related to medical tourism and create the mechanisms to enforce the Law.
Medical tourism regulations are win-win
Mrs. Claire Thomas gave birth to a beautiful baby girl a couple of months ago and plans to travel from Chicago to the Dominican Republic for a tummy tuck.
The medical tourism regulations on the island make sure Mrs. Thomas will be attended by a prestigious professional in medicine who has complied with all requirements and certifications to perform this kind of operation.
After surgery, Mrs. Thomas will be taken to an accommodation facility certified and regulated by the government institution designated to enforce the law and will be taken care by a nurse who works for a certified institution regularly inspected by the department responsible of overseeing everything is according to regulations.
Right now Mrs. Thomas might face a whole different story if traveling to the Dominican Republic.
Unless Mrs. Thomas looks very carefully for the medical professional to perform her tummy tuck and find a proper hotel with the minimum health and professional standards, Mrs. Thomas risks of suffering a not very pleasant experience.
That is why it is worth repeating: Medical tourism regulations is a matter of protecting thousands of travelers!