Dominican Republic

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

At-A-Glance

  • Among the most advanced EMS systems in the Americas — as long as you’re in a major city or popular tourist location
  • Strong political will to improve access to and establish quality standards for emergency care
  • Recognized in 2013 by World Health Organization as having the most dangerous roads in the world
  • Proximity to U.S. and strong support from medical diaspora has increased domain expertise and opened new commercial provider opportunities
  • Dominican baseball players have donated many ambulances, but local capacity to manage vehicle fleets is limited

SCOREBOARD

Overall score

49% of Population Covered by Public 911 System

[Our estimate based on current expansion of official 911 system vs. total population]

29.3 Road Traffic Injury Deaths per 100,000 population

[Source: 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety, WHO]

Road Traffic Injury Deaths per 100,000

Road Traffic Injury Deaths per 100,000

Road Traffic Injury Deaths per 100,000

CAN I CALL AN AMBULANCE?
HOW DO I CALL FOR HELP?

Dial 911*

*911 is the official public access number for the entire country and can be reached toll-free from any phone number originating in the Dominican Republic. Two call centers have been recently built in Santo Domingo (2014) and Santiago (2016) to coordinate police, fire and emergency medical services for their respective metropolitan areas. However, once leaving Santo Domingo, Santiago, San Cristobal, La Haina and parts of Puerto Plata and Punta Cana, emergency vehicles can be difficult to summon.

Please check the map at the top of the page for official agencies and phones numbers where available.

CAN I CALL FOR HELP ANYWHERE?

No. While the 9-1-1 number can be accessed through any phone with a Dominican phone number, ambulances will be dispatched in the following areas:

  • Santo Domingo
  • San Cristobal
  • Santiago (expected 2017)

Further expansion of the government 9-1-1 system has also been stated to happen in 2017 to reach the northern coast, including in Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete, Luperón, and the roads in between and connecting with Santiago.

(From: Dominican Republic government transparency portal. Last accessed: Jan 15, 2017)

WHAT OTHER EMERGENCY NUMBERS CAN I CALL?
LocationNameServicePhone Number
Puerto PlataRescate Ambar24-7 ambulance service(809)261-4361
Puerto PlataBomberosFire department(809)586-2312
Puerto PlataPoliciaPolice department(809)320-8856

For U.S. Citizens

“The U.S. Citizens Services (ACS) Unit of the U.S. Embassy can provide a variety of services to U.S. citizens faced with medical emergencies while in the Dominican Republic. The ACS Unit maintains a List of Doctors and Hospitals in the Dominican Republic, (PDF – 199 KB), that might be of assistance to you. It is important to emphasize that solely the beneficiary of such services, and not the U.S. Government, is responsible for paying his/her own medical bills.”

(From:U.S. Citizens Service website (U.S. Dept. of State). Last accessed: Jan 15, 2017)

WHAT ABOUT IN DISASTERS?

The emergency operations center (Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias – COE) is the government agency mandated with coordinating disaster preparedness and response efforts. As of Jan. 2017, the website is still being completed, but you can sign up for the mailing list here (en español) or you can also follow them on Twitter at @COE_RD

ARE THE RESPONDERS TRAINED?

Yes, there are training institutes for both private and public emergency providers, though almost exclusively in Santo Domingo, including:

– Dirreción Nacional de Desastres y Emergencias

Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña has offered Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) for both clinical and prehospital providers

Because most of the training occurs in Santo Domingo, students must either travel to Santo Domingo or have instructors from Santo Domingo come to them. This can be very expensive and often means that emergency responders receive on-the-job training, are trained by Dominican-American EMTs and Paramedics, or by foreign medical professionals working with NGOs or during short term “mission” trips.

HOW WILL I GET TRANSPORTED?

Please Note: It is very difficult to maintain current statistics on ambulance availability and distribution – practically a fool’s errand. However, we know no one else has taken this task on, and the first responder communities tend to be pretty tight-knit, so we thought we’d post it “just in case”. We do our best to verify the information either first-hand or through trusted local contacts, but we can’t guarantee any of it.

PUBLIC AMBULANCES

Current, up-to-date stats on ambulance distribution and availability are very hard to keep, but in general it’s likely that you will be able to access public ambulances in:

  • South Coastal:
    • Santo Domingo, La Haina, San Cristobal
  • Southeast:
    • Higuey, Punta Cana
  • North Central
    • Santiago, Imbert
  • North Coast:
    • Puerto Plata, Sosúa, Montellano, Luperón

PRIVATE AMBULANCES

SANTO DOMINGO

  • SOS Ambulancia
    • Address:
      • Av. 27 De Febrero No. 527,
      • Santo Domingo Este, Santo Domingo
    • Phone Number: 809-530-4646

  • Movimed
    • Address:
      • Av. Romulo Betancourt 1502
      • Esquina Carmen Mendoza
      • Bella Vista
      • Santo Domingo
    • Phone Number: 809-535-1080

LA ROMANA

SANTIAGO

  • Alerta Médica
    • Address:
      • Urb. El Embrujo I Av Rafael Vidal
      • Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros, Santiago, República Dominicana
    • Cell Phone: (829) 854-9114
    • 24 Hour Service – Patient transport for critical cases, medical appointments, with certified paramedics y specialized equipment, oxygen, cardiac monitor, automatic ventilator, oxymetry, immobilization equipment. We have more than 30 years of experience en the transport and care of critical medical patients.

 

AIR AMBULANCE

  • Air Ambulance Transport International Link
    • Address:
      • Av Tiradentes 56
      • Santo Domingo
    • Telephone: 809-567-1101

Aeroambulancia Logo

  • Aeroambulancia
    • Address:
      • Jose Amado Soler Street 1051
      • Santo Domingo
    • Telephone:
      • +1 (809) 826.4100
      • +1 (809) 200.4100
WHERE WILL I BE TRANSPORTED TO?

Official Ministry of Health Map for all health centers in the country.

HOW WILL I PAY?

For Dominican citizens:

  • In the Dominican Republic, health coverage is guaranteed by law and administered through Law 8701, The Family Health Insurance, under the responsibility of the National Social Security Council “which is aimed at providing comprehensive protection for the physical and mental health of affiliates and their families, as well as achieving universal coverage without exclusions for age, sex, social, work or territorial circumstances” [Source: World Health Organization, 2010]

FOR U.S. CITIZENS

“Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

Some of the health service providers that have accepted U.S. medical insurances in the past are:

  • Plaza de la Salud General Hospital –Assistcard, AXA Assistance, BUPA Medical Services, Claria Life, Delaware Life Insurance/Metlife, Emergency, Frontier Medex, Henner-GMC, Inter Mutuelle Assistance, MetLife, QHM, Redbridge, Worldwide Medical Assurance, Seven Corners, SunMed International, Vumi Group.
  • CEDIMAT – Amedex, Aetna Global Benefits, AXA Assistance Chicago, Accident and Health Travels, Best Doctor Inc., Careplus, Cigna International Expatria Benefits, Euro Center, Es-Ko International Inc., Global Assurance Group, Global Excel Management, Groupe Mutual Assistance, GMC Services International Adm., International SOS Assistance, Morgan White, Minustah, Medex Assistance Corp., Mondial Assistance, North American Commision of the IALE, Olympus Managed Health Care Inc., State Insurance Corporation, World Access, Travel Guard, USA Medical Services, Universal Assistance Inc., Worldwide Medical Assurance.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, U.S. citizens should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for U.S. Citizens Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.”

(From: https://santodomingo.usembassy.gov/medical_assistance-e.html. Last accessed: Jan 15, 2017)

ADDITIONAL INFO
COMMON MEDICAL EMERGENCIES

ROAD TRAFFIC INJURIES

INFECTIOUS DISEASE

  • “Dengue is endemic in the Dominican Republic and outbreaks occur annually” (iamat.org, Last accessed: Jan 10, 2017)
  • Chikungunya in the Dominican Republic: lessons learned in the first six months [Abstract] (Rev Panam Salud Publica 36(5), 2014 español)
  • in 2016 there were 1069 cases and 18 deaths from cholera (ProMED, Last accessed Jan 10, 2017)

HURRICANES

  • Yes, the Dominican Republic has a high vulnerability to hurricanes. Read: “The cyclones, hurricanes and storms in Dominican Republic” from dominican-republic-live.com to get a nearly exhaustive history of hurricanes in the Dominican Republic since 1615
GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT

Lead Agency – Ministry of the Presidency

Government Oversight  – Sistema Nacional de Atención a Emergencias y Seguridad

Dispatch – 9-1-1 Santo Domingo: One call center where all emergency calls are directed. Use of Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and vehicles equipped with Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) for messaging and Automatic Vehicle Location.

REFERENCES
  • Arellano N, Mello MJ, Clark MA. “The role of motorcycle taxi drivers in the pre-hospital care of road traffic injury victims in rural Dominican Republic.” Inj Prev. 2010 Aug 9;16(4):272–4
  • Báez A, MsSc M, Giraldez E. “Knowledge and Attitudes of the Out-Of-Hospital Emergency Care Consumers in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.”Prehosp Disaster Med. 2008 May 28;27(4):273–6.
  • Báez AA, Lane P. “Emergency Medical Services Workforce in the City of Santo Domingo.” Prehosp Emerg Care. 2002;6(3):336–9.
  • Eaton D, U HMS. Determining Ambulance Deployment in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. J Oper Res Soc. 1986;37(2):113–26.
  • Tappero J, Tauxe R. Lessons Learned during Public Health Response to Cholera Epidemic in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 Nov;17(11):2087–93.
LINKS
HOW DOES IT COMPARE?
What can Beacon do for you?

Send us an email to share how you think Beacon can help your service.

Not readable? Change text.