Trip to Centro Medico Bournigal

planner

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Sep 23, 2002
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Well Thursday night I did some damage to my right ankle. The streets here are a mess and you have to watch where you put every step. I got distracted for just 1 second and that was it, I went over on my right ankle.

Ive done this before - 3 times in fact but never here so I thought I would tell you about my trip to Centro Medico Bournigal in Puerto Plata.

I decided not to go on Thursday night - I needed to ice down the swelling and I could not face the clinic on a day when everyone gets paid. (way too busy) and my other good friend was delivering crutches to me so I could get around.

Friday morning I speak to a local Dr. friend to ask who to go to. He tells me which Orthopedic Dr is best if I need one.

I head to the clinic and first stop is the Emergency room - not busy (yeah) but still confusing. They don't take an intake form, no background or showing of insurance cards etc. Just come on it...........

In about 5 minutes I am seen by a nice Dr and she briefly looks at my ankle, hardly touches me and sends me for an x-ray. First though you pay them for the x-ray - 625 pesos - about $20 US

Off we go to the office for the x-ray. I wait about 15 minutes, it is full but apparently when you come from emergency you are given preference. Or maybe when you pay cash you get preference. After the x-ray, I go back to waiting room to wait. I am told it will be 15 minutes again but this time it is Dominican minutes. 45 minutes folks.....

Now all the chairs are taken, I am standing by the wall, on crutches with an ankle that slightly resembles a football. I stand for 15 mintues before someone offers me a chair. Hmmmmm. Now most of these people aren't even sick they are waiting with or for someone who is sick! I was not impressed and my pride and ego got in the way and I would not ask for a seat!

So, back to emergency. My friend now has to leave me - note to self - next emergency take a friend who does not pass out at the sight of blood!!! My nice Dr. comes back and takes my x-rays to read. She can't read them here as the light panel (that box thing they put x-rays on) won't work. She opens it and fiddles with it but it won't go on. She goes off to another office to read my x-rays.

While I wait, lots of nurses, staff, Drs and patients stop to chat with me....... It was all quite social.

She comes back to inform me I need a specialist. I ask for Dr. Ravelo as that is who was suggested to me. He arrives in 5 mintues! Yup a specialist consult in 5 mintues........ If you need this kind of Dr. he is great, speaks English, French, some German too.

HE quickly tells me what I pretty much already know (this is my 4th time doing this) and we proceed to cast my right ankle. He does it himself and we have a nice chat while he works.

Bottom line costs:

x- ray 625 RD (outside cheaper but very inconvenient)
Fiberglass cast 1,579 RD
Dr fees & emerg 3,000 RD

Total 5,204 RD

About 158 US

I don't think that is too bad at all.

What is bad is I have a damn cast on my ankle for the next 4 weeks!
 

planner

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Sep 23, 2002
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Yes Dr. Jim made this recommendation as well! I was really pleased with the care I received.

Mountainfrog: my comment was a comparison of what it would have cost in North America! You are absolutely right - this is not good for most Dominicans! This would not be an option for Dominicans without health insurance.

And by the way - not just a sprain but also broken with torn ligaments too. Yuck.
 

Robert

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Jan 2, 1999
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Which Dominican could pay 5 k for the treatment of a sprained ankle? That's a month's pay. :(

m'frog
Those with insurance.

My guess is that bill would be US$600-700 in the USA, maybe more.

Insurance is cheap here and if you go with the right company, the coverage is good.
 

SKY

New member
Apr 11, 2004
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There is no need to go to the Emergency Room for this type of treatment. Just go to the Dr. that is recommended to you and you will save about half of what was spent.
 

mountainfrog

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Dec 8, 2003
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www.domrep-info.com
Few Are Insured

Those with insurance....
Insurance is cheap here and if you go with the right company, the coverage is good.
Very few have health insurance, my guess is around 5 %.

Coverage often is limited to certain clinics and / or certain areas, prescriptions and medication administered outside clinics are usually not included.

m'frog
 

Chirimoya

Moderator
Dec 9, 2002
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Yowch! Hope it recovers swiftly and with minimum pain. You'll be missed on the dance floors!
 

Robert

Stay Frosty!
Jan 2, 1999
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Very few have health insurance, my guess is around 5 %.

Coverage often is limited to certain clinics and / or certain areas, prescriptions and medication administered outside clinics are usually not included.

m'frog
5% based on what numbers?

Most companies offer rebates even if you use non affiliated providers.
It usually depends on your level of insurance on the % paid back.
Most cover the entire DR and have affiliates all over.
 

A.Hidalgo

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Apr 28, 2006
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Leaving aside the social concerns, it's refreshing to hear a positive outcome compared to the disaster medical stories we hear here. Get better planner, will be looking forward to your dealing with physical therapy after you cast comes off.:cheeky:
 

suarezn

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Feb 3, 2002
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What disaster medical stories? If you ask me Doctors in The DR do a hell of a good job considering they don't have millions of dollars worth of equipment...and the price is definitely right.

Having to go to the doctor is never pleasant, but I really, really hate to go to the doctor here in The US. You need an appointment for every little darn thing in the world. Try going to the emergency room and and you'll wait for hours on end before they can get you in to see a doctor and even then you may just see a nurse not a real doctor.

Example: For me to get my cholesterol checked I have to call my doctor to have them fax an authorization to the lab which will then give an appointment whenever they feel like. After I get my blood drawn then wait days before I can get results. In The DR I go to the clinic, pay for the service and go right in where they get the blood drawn. Total time about 10 minutes. Results can be picked up in a few hours. Huge difference...
 

MommC

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Mar 2, 2002
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Very huge difference......while I was paying the deposit to have PapaTony admitted to a private room at Plaza de la Salud - he had an xray, ultrasound, ecg and blood drawn for analysis, medical history taken and was seen not by one but by 3 Drs! Surely isn't like this in Canada....when I had my heart attack I was in emerg 2 1/2 hours before they realized I'd had an MI!!
Take care Planner and definitely think about Grahame's suggestion of sticking to orange juice !!! :) ;)
 

A.Hidalgo

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Apr 28, 2006
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What disaster medical stories? If you ask me Doctors in The DR do a hell of a good job considering they don't have millions of dollars worth of equipment...and the price is definitely right.

Having to go to the doctor is never pleasant, but I really, really hate to go to the doctor here in The US. You need an appointment for every little darn thing in the world. Try going to the emergency room and and you'll wait for hours on end before they can get you in to see a doctor and even then you may just see a nurse not a real doctor.

Example: For me to get my cholesterol checked I have to call my doctor to have them fax an authorization to the lab which will then give an appointment whenever they feel like. After I get my blood drawn then wait days before I can get results. In The DR I go to the clinic, pay for the service and go right in where they get the blood drawn. Total time about 10 minutes. Results can be picked up in a few hours. Huge difference...


My point is that in this forum there are a lot of complaints about things in the DR. Here is a story of something positive that indicates that the DR has competent doctors. But of course we all know or should that when you have dollars, pounds etc medical care proceeds smoothly, unfortunately not for a majority of Dominicans.:ermm:
 

planner

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Sep 23, 2002
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Thanks everyone. I wish I had been drinking! Then I would have had an excuse at least.

Hmmmm. I think I willl change my story and make up a really good one, then I can blame it on: the rum, the dance partner, the giant cucharacha etc etc........

I do agree that this was not a horror story! It was a good outcome without too much time or money having to be spent. Everyone was really helpful in emerg etc. The reason I didn't go straight to the specialist was I wasn't sure I actually needed one. I've not had a lot of medical contact here so I was pleasantly surprised!

Already I look forward to getting this stunning blue cast the heck off! But I will be back on the dance floor soon!
 

zoomzx11

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2006
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ankles

I know you said it was a break but stated it was not the first time. Sprained ankles need physical therapy otherwise they will happen over and over. I sprained my ankles a number of times until one sweet smart ER Doc told me that unless I strenthen the stretched tendons and ligaments with physical therapy their weakness will always subject me to sprained ankles.
 

planner

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Sep 23, 2002
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Thanks I am aware of that as well. I did some ligament damage again and will have to do some physio after.
 

LatinoRican

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Apr 11, 2004
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Very huge differnce, indeed!

I agree with MommC that private hospitals in DR do tend to give faster emergency service than in other places including Puerto Rico. In DR, several years ago, I woke up with a very bad tachycardia. My heartbeat was racing and it felt like my heart was going to come out of my chest. I went to the emergency room at Clinica Hnos. Abreu on Ave. Independencia and told the attending nurse what I felt. She and another nurse immediatly had me lie down in one of the examinating rooms and hooked me up to an electrocardiogram machine. A doctor appeared out of nowhere and began asking me questions while checking my pulse and heartbeats. She prescibed some medications and told me I would soon be well, but she had me stay for observation for several hours. When my heartbeat was normal, she gave me a referral to a cardiologist for follow up. Finally, when I went to pay, I really thought that it would be in the hundreds of dollars. To my surprise, what I had to pay did not total $30.00!! I doubt very much that I would have been given such rapid attention in a private hospital in Puerto Rico. Sadly, I probably would have been asked to fill out a form, take a number, and wait my turn like everybody else.
 

mart1n

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Jul 13, 2006
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recover quickly

I wish you all the best on your recovery.
I hope this is not too far off topic. I wrote into another forum that I was retired and living in the DR. Most of the comments where what do you do for medical. When I explained that the medical here was as good or better service than the US and Can. The forum just exploded with people saying all kinds of put downs but none have ever been here. I wished they could read some of these forums.