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Doctors, Dentists and Other Health Services

Dominican Republic - Doctors, Dentists and Other Health Services

There are no general practitioners as such and no system of registering with doctors. Each public or private hospital or clinic will have a range of doctors, each one with a different specialty. Depending on why you need to see a doctor, you go to the one with the relevant specialty. Some doctors do have an appointment system but many do not. If not, you just need to find out from the secretary at what time the doctor holds surgeries. People are then seen on a first come first served basis. Be warned, the doctor will rarely, if ever, be on time for surgery hours and be prepared to wait a long time even after he or she arrives and even if you do have an appointment.

All doctors are very keen on carrying out all types of analysis before making a diagnosis. The patient will find themselves having to have blood tests, x-rays and a whole range of procedures even if only going to the doctor with a sore throat. These analyses will add significantly to the cost of the doctor’s visit. In addition, the new expat should be aware that the use of antibiotics is very high and irrespective of the ailment, the chances are that the patient will be prescribed a large dose of antibiotics. There is a list at the Public Health Ministry of all licensed doctors by specialty hence it is easy to confirm the qualifications of any doctor.

Dentists will have private practices and there are several in every town. The standard of dentistry in the Dominican Republic is very high, and many Americans will come here purely for the dental work which as well as being excellent is also significantly cheaper than the USA. For example a crown will cost around US$500 Dentists will usually operate an appointment system, or you can just wait your turn. Again, appointment or not, be prepared for a long wait. It is also worth noting that it is best to go to the dentists or doctors when the electricity is working, as many do not have generators or inverters and therefore drills or x-ray machines will not be working.

All medical services are private and the majority of expats will pay using insurance. However, not all insurances cover dental treatment and even those which do will expect a contribution from the patient. As far as doctors are concerned, not all will take insurance and those that do will not take all insurances. Again a contribution is necessary. The best thing to do is to find the local clinic you will mostly use and once you have discovered which insurance they take, then take out that insurance.

Useful Resources

Government health agency

This guide was compiled with the help of Lindsay de Feliz, a British expat blogger living in the Dominican Republic. Visit her blog at yoursaucepans.blogspot.com.

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