Local December 22, 2015 | 10:19 am

World watchdog slams Dominican medical tourism

Santo Domingo.- A new reporton the medical tourism industry released Tuesday warns travelers not to havemedical procedures done in Dominican Republic and puts other countries on awatch list, according to a press release by PRNewswire.

The Medical TravelQuality Alliance (MTQUA) issue a Medical Travel Advisory, the first ever on themedical tourism industry, which identifies an excessive number of deaths andlife-threatening infections of medical tourists in Dominican Republic, andcautions medical tourists about specific safety risks in other nations.

"We urge medicaltravelers to seek an alternative to the Dominican Republic," says JulieMunro, president of MTQUA. "At least four people this year alone have diedafter surgery that we know of. Dozens more acquired life-threatening infectionsthey had to treat in hospital back home. This is unacceptable," the statementsays.

“As many medicaltourists start planning in January for medical travel later in the year, MTQUAcautions them to take greater care when considering medical or surgicalprocedures in Thailand, South Korea, India and especially in Mexico, wheredeaths from weight loss and plastic surgery in certain clinics in the bordertowns of Tijuana and Mexicali have been widely reported in the American media,”the industry watchdog said.

“Conditions in thesecountries present unreasonable and unwarranted risk, and possible life-alteringharm including poor quality results, disregard for medical traveler safety, andeven death,” the statement said, quoting MTQUA.

"We are naming theDominican Republic because this situation has been going on for years. It iswidespread and not confined to one or two clinics. Neither the government northe medical establishment has shown a clear commitment to fix this. Instead,the country continues to promote itself as a preferred medical tourismdestination which is absolutely not the case," says Munro.

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