What’s it Like to Be in the Hospital in the Dominican Republic?

Getting sick in a foreign country can be a frightening experience.  So what’s it like to be in the hospital in the Dominican Republic?  What can you expect?

Firstly, don’t worry.  The care here is as good, or maybe even better, than where you live in North America. Let me explain:

I’ve sadly had too much experience with the medical system in the DR. My late husband had chronic kidney stones and had many treatments both in Canada and the DR.  The medical care he received in the DR was faster, as modern, and he even had his urologist’s cell phone number!  I’ve had foot surgery in the DR because the Canadian doctors made a mess of the original surgery.  My husband, sadly, lost his life in 2021 after severe Covid, but even then, he received care he never would have received in Canada, and with medications not available.


A very recent experience:

In February 2024, I had my own hospital stay, and that’s what I’d like to share now.  In almost 20-years of going to, and living in, the DR, I’ve never once gotten sick, but in February I somehow managed to contract Dengue Fever, Covid and an intestinal parasite – all at once.  I was a very, very sick girl.

Centro Medico Bournigal
Centro Medico Bournigal

That’s the bad news.  Now here’s the good news:

  • All of my care was totally covered by my medical insurance
  • I firstly had a great general practitioner doctor, who came to my house and began treating me.  He first did various test like blood work and got me results, then started medical care.  After a day it was decided that I would require hospitalization.
  • I went to Bournical Medical Center in Puerto Plata and was immediately seen by an internist who admitted me and ordered more tests.
  • I was given a private room (and my new husband, Dean, was able to stay with me in my hospital room which was so wonderful).
  • I had four doctors:  an internist, gastroenterologist, a haematologist, and a general doctor who oversaw my care
  • I had CT scans, chest x-rays, and many other tests – with no wait times.  This is true no matter when you go for tests – even as an outpatient.  You also don’t wait to see specialists.
  • I was in hospital a total of 6-days with a follow-up appt four days after I was sent home.
  • The care was as usual, excellent, with English speaking, well-trained doctors who were kind, attentive, and knew exactly what they were doing.  The facility had modern equipment, a relaxed atmosphere, and my room had a seaview 🙂

The combination of everything I had made my condition extremely serious and could have resulted in death.  The training and experience of the medical team, particularly as it relates to how serious Dengue Fever can be, saved my life.

The cost of my care and treatment was covered by my medical insurance.  Travel medical insurance is accepted with no out of pocket expenses.  If you live in the DR, purchasing medical insurance will (depending on the coverage you choose) cost about $2000-$3,000 US/year for a couple.  This will also give you coverage for most prescriptions, lab tests, and even some dental.

The International Center at Bournical Medical Center exists ONLY to help expats and tourists who don’t know how to navigate the medical system in the DR – it’s designed for non-Spanish speakers.  For more information, watch the video below.

Centro Medico Bournigal
Bournigal Medical Center
Bournigal Medical Center


And never miss a thing

Experience Paradise at Sosua Beach: The Ultimate Guide to a Tropical Getaway

Welcome to Playa Sosua Beach, your ticket to a tropical paradise in the heart of the Caribbean. With its pristine 1-kilometer of sandy shores, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and vibrant marine life, this hidden gem is the perfect destination for an unforgettable...

Uncovering Paradise: Exploring Encuentro Beach in the Dominican Republic

   Welcome to paradise! With its crystal-clear waters, pristine sandy beaches, and endless sunshine, Encuentro Beach in the Dominican Republic is a true haven for beach lovers and surf enthusiasts alike.    A trendy, bohemian, healthy vibe... Nestled along the...

The Real Cost of Living in the Dominican Republic – Real Estate

 Awww real estate... often the biggest purchases of our lives, and sometimes the most unpredictable.  For anyone considering buying Dominican Republic real estate, let's take a look at the cost of buying and owning a villa or condo here in this tropical haven.  ...

Sun, Sand, and Real Estate: Why Sosua, Dominican Republic Checks All the Boxes

Sun, Sand, and Real Estate: Why Sosua, Dominican Republic Checks All the Boxes Dreaming of a tropical paradise where you can soak up the sun, feel the sand between your toes, and own a piece of real estate in a stunning location? Look no further than Sosua, Dominican...

Essential Information for Canadian and American Snowbirds

Are you a Canadian or American snowbird looking to make the most of your winter escape? Whether you're trading in snow shovels for suntan lotion or seeking a warm haven from the winter chill, this article is tailored just for you. Discover the essential tips and...

How Long Can a Tourist or Snowbird Stay in the Dominican Republic?

We are asked this question all the time.  Firstly, let’s explain the difference between a non-resident and a resident.  A non-resident is simply a tourist.  This is anyone who is visiting the country with no legal status.  A resident is a person who has gone through...

Reasons to Leave Canada or the United States for the Dominican Republic

Over the past few years we're seeing a trend.  The DR has always been a real estate destination for Americans and Canadians; however, we now see more people than ever buying in the DR.  It's not just about warm weather.  Here are the reasons people are leaving the...

Pros & Cons to Buying Dominican Republic Real Estate

Nowhere it perfect.  So what ARE the pros and cons to buying property in the DR?  When it comes to investing in real estate, the Dominican Republic offers an enticing opportunity. With its stunning beaches, tropical climate, and affordable property prices, you're not...

9 Reasons Why the Dominican Republic Is the Best Place to Live for Expats

You only live once, so where you choose is so important.... The last few years have certainly got everyone thinking about life and how to live it.  So  many of our buyers are looking for a better quality of life.  They want to get away from stress, no live/work...

Medical Services are Excellent in the Dominican Republic

Your Health Matters.  Good Medical Care is Critical. Health Care in the Dominican Republic is Excellent! One of the questions we're asked most is what medical care and costs are like on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic.  Can I get my prescriptions?  How much...

More Great DR Info:

view from bayrock condos

Things to Watch Out For When Buying Foreign Property

Find out the pitfalls and questions marks.  What you need to be careful of.

Dominican Republic Buyer's Guide

Lots of useful information in one handy download.

youtube play

Video Buyer's Guide Series

See it instead of reading it!  Great informaton about DR real estate and life in a video series.

casa linda villa

Mortgage Financing

How does it work in the DR?  It’s possible, but more challenging.


Frequently Asked Questions

Quick answers to lots of common questions.

beautiful sea view

Dominican Republic Real Estate Buying Process

How does it all work?  Is it the same as North America?  Do you need to know Spanish?  Find out…

residency in the dominican republic


What is Dominican residency?  How does it work?  Do you need it?