Puerto Rico Progressively Promoting Itself as a Medical Tourism Destination

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11/21/2014 | By: Kai Wade | Director of Communications & Social Media

Just east of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, is denoted as the ‘All Star’ Island. The island is the cruise capital of the Caribbean — as its ports welcome thousands of sea travelers daily.

Recently, officials of the interstellar Island presented a strategy to progressively promote itself as a medical tourism destination, specifically among the Hispanic population of the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States. Advanced specialists in Puerto Rico will offer affordable services in cosmetic dentistry, weight loss surgery, and more — at nearly 60 percent lower than the United States.

"Puerto Rico has a privileged situation in this market," stated the Secretary of Economic Development and Trade, Alberto Baco.

Officials in San Juan are confident that nearly 3,000 jobs can be created with this push to allure medical tourists, which is likely to assist more than 30,000 patients over the next three years.

Puerto Rican officials stated that its plan to become a medical tourism destination began to develop after commissioning a study, which established positive results. The study revealed that medical costs on the island are between 40 percent and 60 percent lower than in the mainland United States.

"It's a new sector in Puerto Rico, which is going to create business. It's going to (require) more hotels, like those in Bayamón and Manatí, which are receiving many people," Baco further stated.

Holiday in Puerto Rico

With a competitive edge aimed at Latin American, officials addressed that saving money on medical care is not the only motivation for tourists traveling to Puerto Rico. "It's true that we're more expensive than Latin America, but we're a U.S. jurisdiction, which means that we offer more security and guarantees," stated Mr. Baco.

"Whoever travels to have surgery doesn't do it alone. They always go accompanied by one or two people, at a minimum, and often they remain for some additional days for the patient's rehabilitation," stated Ingrid Rivera, Director of the Island's Tourism Agency.

"When you're going to have surgery, your main concern is going to be the training of the doctor," Rivera stated. "The majority of our doctors have studied in the U.S. and our hospitals are accredited, and certified by Medicare, just like those in the U.S." 

Key Facts on Puerto Rico Tourism

--Spanish and English are the official languages. Most Puerto Ricans speak English.

--United States Citizens don’t need a passport to enter the island.

--Over 588 non-stop flights to main cities in the United States, 30 flights to the Caribbean, and 28 flights to Central and South America every week.

--Surrounded by more than 270 miles of stunning coastline.

--World-class, luxury attractions for all tastes and budgets.

--Over 20 shopping malls, including the largest one in the Caribbean.

--Culture includes a lively mix of Taíno, African, and Spanish influences.

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