Medical Tourism Logistics

drSix

Silver
Oct 13, 2013
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Ok, so I'm finally going to do something! I am going to start a business venture in the Dominican Republic. I am currently in the planning stages, and am working on my website, contacts, business plan, and legal stuff.

I know you are going to ask, so...

I've lived here for 2 1/2 years
I speaka de espanol bien
I know Dominicanos and am well aware of the concept of ahorita and my fren'
My livelihood will in no way be dependent on the income, and I have an escape fund
I drive here, I am friends with expats and Dominicanos
I don't have $2million dollars, but don't plan on leaving with a million anyways
I know how to do stuff legally, and will be working with a good lawyer
No, I don't have residency, but I won't be living here. I can run the logistics part from the US, relying on my trusted and vetted fren's here. Visiting when needed (or when the snow hits)

Entonces, this is my plan (DON'T STEAL IT!)

I'm going to do medical tourism logistics. Working on the North Coast and hopefully with the full cooperation of HOMS hospital in Santiago. Simply put, if you want to come to the DR to save money on a medical procedure, I will handle everything except the medical procedure.

As in:

Airport pickup (local, licensed taxi driver)
Accommodations (Through hotels/motels/AIs in Sosua, Puerto Plata, Santiago)
Ground Transportation (again, local taxi drivers)
Quotes- I'll get the best price for your treatment/ procedure without the Gringo tax
Personal Attendant- A bilingual person who will stick with on the day of your procedure to make sure things run smoothly
Whatever else- Translation of medical records, meals, cell phones, maid, travel insurance, car rental, nursing ect.

Because this is Business Questions, here are my questions:

What do you think?
How would I obtain consumer trust as far as safety?
Is there anything legal wise I am missing?
What procedures would you come to the DR for, or recommend to your family?
What services would you want, or recommend I supply?
I anyone doing this? Do I have competition in the DR?

I may have more, as the thread progresses! Any suggestions welcome, and I would also like to hear from any business owners (via PM) who would be interested in partnering with me, or being on my contact list of services.

Any positive stories about healthcare experiences in the DR would be appreciated. Any information you are willing to provide that I can use, such as the cost, recover time, or facility or physician you'd recommend would also be helpful. This can be via reply or PM.

I don't think I am breaking any DR1 rules here as far as advertising, as I have no business to speak of yet, and have left no contact information. Please let me know how I can reword my thread, if I am.

And, in true DR1 fashion, hold nothing back! Tear my idea apart, and leave me crying in a ball on my office floor!
 

windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
41,971
5,850
113
Your plan will only be stolen if it is successful. After that, you and the ten other copycats will make almost nothing.
 
Apr 7, 2014
2,293
2
0
Your plan will only be stolen if it is successful. After that, you and the ten other copycats will make almost nothing.
Maybe....his winning edge will always be the Gringo Advantage as Johnny Mueller says. Language affinity and countless meticulous attention to detail are things the local market can never execute well.

The key to your success is to make your contact proprietary. People MUST go to you or through you for these services unless they want to be "Frankenstein'd" by the next guy whl thinks he could do what you do...and you also must sell it this way.

Tell all your clientes about "manana time", "un ratito" and all of that to instill trust in them that YOU are the best procurer in the country(or the North Coast).
 

Africaida

Gold
Jun 19, 2009
7,774
1,341
113
it already exists

Ok, so I'm finally going to do something! I am going to start a business venture in the Dominican Republic. I am currently in the planning stages, and am working on my website, contacts, business plan, and legal stuff.

I know you are going to ask, so...

I've lived here for 2 1/2 years
I speaka de espanol bien
I know Dominicanos and am well aware of the concept of ahorita and my fren'
My livelihood will in no way be dependent on the income, and I have an escape fund
I drive here, I am friends with expats and Dominicanos
I don't have $2million dollars, but don't plan on leaving with a million anyways
I know how to do stuff legally, and will be working with a good lawyer
No, I don't have residency, but I won't be living here. I can run the logistics part from the US, relying on my trusted and vetted fren's here. Visiting when needed (or when the snow hits)

Entonces, this is my plan (DON'T STEAL IT!)

I'm going to do medical tourism logistics. Working on the North Coast and hopefully with the full cooperation of HOMS hospital in Santiago. Simply put, if you want to come to the DR to save money on a medical procedure, I will handle everything except the medical procedure.

As in:

Airport pickup (local, licensed taxi driver)
Accommodations (Through hotels/motels/AIs in Sosua, Puerto Plata, Santiago)
Ground Transportation (again, local taxi drivers)
Quotes- I'll get the best price for your treatment/ procedure without the Gringo tax
Personal Attendant- A bilingual person who will stick with on the day of your procedure to make sure things run smoothly
Whatever else- Translation of medical records, meals, cell phones, maid, travel insurance, car rental, nursing ect.

Because this is Business Questions, here are my questions:

What do you think?
How would I obtain consumer trust as far as safety?
Is there anything legal wise I am missing?
What procedures would you come to the DR for, or recommend to your family?
What services would you want, or recommend I supply?
I anyone doing this? Do I have competition in the DR?

I may have more, as the thread progresses! Any suggestions welcome, and I would also like to hear from any business owners (via PM) who would be interested in partnering with me, or being on my contact list of services.

Any positive stories about healthcare experiences in the DR would be appreciated. Any information you are willing to provide that I can use, such as the cost, recover time, or facility or physician you'd recommend would also be helpful. This can be via reply or PM.

I don't think I am breaking any DR1 rules here as far as advertising, as I have no business to speak of yet, and have left no contact information. Please let me know how I can reword my thread, if I am.

And, in true DR1 fashion, hold nothing back! Tear my idea apart, and leave me crying in a ball on my office floor!

I remember stating that it would be a good idea a while ago.
It is a great idea, because DR is on a map. I have acquaintances who had me contact surgeons in SD because of the language barriers. Their reluctance is mainly due to that language barriers.


I would recommend a house rental instead of a hotel (patients may want their privacy).
You would need to be near the doctor/hospital for follow up visits (so not sure if Sosua is feasible).
you may want a nurse to attend to patients.

Other than that, it is a good idea, I believe it exists in the Capital. To my knowledge, the Dominican surgeons that are well known (at least in NYC) are mostly in SD.

Having said that, I would never have the balls to have surgery overseas, especially in DR ! What if something goes wrong ? I have not seen an ambulance, lol. I would elect Colombia/Brazil before DR. I am sure the surgeons are good, but would be afraid about follow up. I am chicken though.
 
Apr 7, 2014
2,293
2
0
I remember stating that it would be a good idea a while ago.
It is a great idea, DR is on a map, I have acquaintances who had me contact surgeons in SD because of the language barriers. Their reluctance is mainly due to that language barriers.


I would recommend a house rental instead of a hotel (patients may want their privacy).
You would need to be near the doctor/hospital for follow up visits.
you may want a nurse to attend to patients.

Other than that, it is a good idea, I believe it exists in the Capital. To my knowledge, the Dominican surgeons that are well known (at least in NYC) are mostly in SD.

Having said that, I would never have the balls to have surgery overseas, especially in DR ! What if something goes wrong ? I have not seen an ambulance, lol. I would elect Colombia/Brazil before DR. I am sure the surgeons are good, but would be afraid about follow up. I am chicken though.
Thats what I would suggest. Vanity procedures are the most profitable. Breast augmentations, Butt implants, Penis enlargements.

Also hire some of the lowly paid Dominican doctors to be your in-house Nurse staff. And also have translators on your payroll to diffuse any anxiety between the hospital staff and the prospective client. Also, in case of emergency have your own ambulance contract provider.
First World Meticulousness is your edge. The locals cant steal your idea if their English is atrocious and their housing setup is some crappy dirty hotel. "No worry, my fren, you bin-bin we fix, you say me good. My fren, you has 500 pesos for Arnelio eat?"
 

drSix

Silver
Oct 13, 2013
1,323
0
36
Maybe....his winning edge will always be the Gringo Advantage as Johnny Mueller says. Language affinity and countless meticulous attention to detail are things the local market can never execute well.

The key to your success is to make your contact proprietary. People MUST go to you or through you for these services unless they want to be "Frankenstein'd" by the next guy whl thinks he could do what you do...and you also must sell it this way.

Tell all your clientes about "manana time", "un ratito" and all of that to instill trust in them that YOU are the best procurer in the country(or the North Coast).

Yes, I hope that will do it. I am pretty well experienced in all of the aspects of this idea; taxis, the rental market, visas, the hospital, and the medical procedures. I've kept a pretty good eye on the progress of medical care here, and part of my real job is medical evacuation in foreign countries, and logistics.
 

drSix

Silver
Oct 13, 2013
1,323
0
36
I remember stating that it would be a good idea a while ago.
It is a great idea, because DR is on a map. I have acquaintances who had me contact surgeons in SD because of the language barriers. Their reluctance is mainly due to that language barriers.

Yes, I do believe there is something like this in Santo Domingo. At least in the early stages. I have a call into the Dominican Association of Health Tourism, I am interested in hearing what they say.


I would recommend a house rental instead of a hotel (patients may want their privacy).
You would need to be near the doctor/hospital for follow up visits (so not sure if Sosua is feasible).
you may want a nurse to attend to patients.

I will try to have a variety of villas/houses/apartments available at different price points. You're right about the privacy aspect.

Other than that, it is a good idea, I believe it exists in the Capital. To my knowledge, the Dominican surgeons that are well known (at least in NYC) are mostly in SD.

Having said that, I would never have the balls to have surgery overseas, especially in DR ! What if something goes wrong ? I have not seen an ambulance, lol. I would elect Colombia/Brazil before DR. I am sure the surgeons are good, but would be afraid about follow up. I am chicken though.

I do have some contacts within the private amublance services here, and will certainly do my best to be ready for an emergency. I am also going to look into travel insurance. Hopefully it would cover evacuation back to the US, something I need to look into.
 

Africaida

Gold
Jun 19, 2009
7,774
1,341
113
How much will you charge for your services on top of the surgery ?

Since the main the attraction for the DR is the price compared to the US or Europe.

You should run the business while you are in DR the first year or 2 (I had missed that part).

To me it seems like a great idea once again and you have the expertise to do it.
 
Last edited:

drSix

Silver
Oct 13, 2013
1,323
0
36
How much will you charge for your services on top of the surgery ?

Since the main the attraction for the DR is the price compared to the US or Europe.

To be profitable, after taxes, I am looking at about 20%. I should be able to cover most of that by negotiating, and paying cash. I'll charge the customer the going rate (without the gringo tax), and negotiate a 20% discount beyond that, offering my suppliers my continued business and support. I may have to lower that with some services, but I am hopeful that my fee will pay for itself.

I've worked up some basic math on what things cost, and think I can be sustainable at 20% of the billed services.
 

drSix

Silver
Oct 13, 2013
1,323
0
36
I know that Plaza de la Salud in the capital is licensed for medical tourism. You might find this article useful

http://hgps.org.do/noticia/el-turismo-medico-un-reto-asumido/

Also check out if you will have any liability when it comes to malpractice as most doctors get away with it here but if there is an American in the mix you may end up holding the can.

Matilda

Yes, you are right. I will have to do everything I can to separate myself from the medical portion of my customers visit. I will have to make it very clear that I only do logistics. And, will have to have some good liability insurance.

I am a little concerned that an LLC here, would not protect my assets in the US. I'll need some lawyers for that!

Thanks for the link!
 
Jan 9, 2004
10,871
2,194
113
The business you speak about is already being done here.....and has been for years.

Your concept is way too large.....and should be more narrowly focused to providing information, accommodations, transportation, translation, and non-medical follow-up care.

The successful providers of medical tourism of which I am aware of, use private homes with residents who speak the language of the medical tourist.

I think your best option is to market your service direct to the Doctors and then incorporate a fee structure into the entire package.

IMHO you should not get involved in finding and or negotiating prices for Doctor services, lest you want to play the odds one of those medical tourists has major complications and/or dies......and your being on the wrong end of a lawsuit.


Respectfully,
Playacaribe2
 

kampinge

Member
Jan 18, 2012
392
0
16
Do you know that HOMS offer a VIP service by themselves.
I used that service 3 timen in the last three years for yearly checkups.
They are located in the 4th floor of the hospital building
 

CristoRey

Welcome To Wonderland
Apr 1, 2014
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When, not if, something goes horribly wrong...
As an American you will looked at as the $olution. Sounds very risky.
 

xstew

Member
Jul 4, 2012
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When, not if, something goes horribly wrong...
As an American you will looked at as the $olution. Sounds very risky.

I'm looking for a doctor who does the UROLIFT procedure if you have one here ill be the first to go to him! I'm in Santo Domingo .
 

CristoRey

Welcome To Wonderland
Apr 1, 2014
11,621
7,870
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I'm looking for a doctor who does the UROLIFT procedure if you have one here ill be the first to go to him! I'm in Santo Domingo .

Best I can do is a good dentist in Santiago. Good luck.
 

pauleast

*** I love DR1 ***
Jan 29, 2012
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Interesting business idea. Thailand, India and Brazil are raking in the cash on medical tourism. If you could get a contact in the U.S to send patients your way that would be a bonus.As indicated you would need to be able to insulate yourself for the inevitable medical liability's that surface.
 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
30,247
4,328
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RD is already a big dental destination..... and plastics , I gather.
who knows what else ?

There is a market here for a 'concierge' service of sorts....
I've had it in my head for a while