Health and Safety in the Dominican Republic
No special vaccinations are required before visiting the Dominican Republic at the present time. Although there may be some areas of the Dominican Republic where vaccinations are recommended. Please visit cdc.gov who.int and/or voyage.gc.ca for the most up-to-date information on this subject.
It is strongly recommended that you purchase travel medical insurance prior to traveling to the Dominican Republic and confirm with the insurance provider that the policy covers your particular destination and emergency expenses such as emergency medical evacuation. Most doctors and hospitals require payment for services up front, and medical evacuations can cost tens of thousands of dollars. For this reason it would be wise to establish whether your insurance provider will make payment on your behalf, directly to the healthcare provider, or if you will have to make payment and will be reimbursed afterwards for the medical expenses you incur. We, at Hispaniola.com, have researched extensively to find the best, quickest and easiest travel and medical insurance for the Dominican Republic and came up with IMG. We have formed a partnership with them and now you can get your travel and medical insurance right here. Go to Hispaniola.com/IMG medical insurance.
Medical care in the Dominican Republic can range from quite good, to very limited, depending on what type of medical care you require and where you are. Emergency medical service tends to be quite limited the more remote your location within the Dominican Republic. There are good hospitals and other private medical facilities located in Puerto Plata, Santiago and Santo Domingo, which are cities located fairly close to most tourism destinations. Most of the facilities in these cities have staff that understands English, as well as other foreign languages. If an ambulance is required you can contact the private ambulance service, Movi-med, which operates out of Santo Domingo, La Romana, Santiago and Puerto Plata. Movi-med also provides helicopter medi-vac to Miami, USA. Most medical facilities and ambulance service providers will expect full payment prior to providing you with their services.
Most of the bigger hotels/resorts have a doctor on staff that will be able to treat minor medical ailments. In the bigger resort communities you will also find private medical facilities (doctor's offices), which will treat minor medical problems. In both cases, the doctors providing these services tend to understand at least English, and very often other foreign languages.
Travelers may be a little more vulnerable to getting sick due to the stress and excitement inherent in the traveling process. Once you add a change in time zone and climate, changes to your usual diet, and over-indulgence in alcohol and sun; the likelihood for vulnerability to getting sick increases. The most common complaints in tropical countries like the Dominican Republic are upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and sun-related fever. The best thing to do on arrival in the Dominican Republic is to ease your body into things slowly. Avoid over indulgence in anything, introducing changes to your regular routine as gradually as possible. If you do feel symptoms during your visit, ensure you get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. This will allow your body to maintain the energy it needs to fight off sickness. The most common complaints are not serious. With lots of rest and water and over-the-counter remedies for your symptoms (available at most supermarkets and pharmacies), most people will feel better within a couple of days.
For very detailed information about health issues while traveling in the Dominican Republic, please visit DominicanAdventures.com