Why Philippines is one of the best Medical Tourism destination in the world

Have you ever heard of people traveling to places for medical care? According to Medical tourism Association, medical tourism is when people who live in one country travel to another country to receive medical, dental and surgical care while at the same time receiving equal to or greater care than they would have in their own country, and are traveling for medical care because of affordability, better access to care or a higher level of quality of care.

Why would patients travel for medical care? For affordability, and quality health care. The cost savings could be up to 90%.

Since when did health care started in  the Philippines? In the year 2006, a bill was passed in the Philippine Congress creating the Medical Tourism Bureau, a bureau that is assigned to lead in promoting health tourism. It was successful because Philippines is among the list of choice- destinations in the industry.

Why Philippines? It is the heart of Asia. In the same way, it is the heart of global health care. Medical professionals in the Philippines are went to Western-countries to study and went back home to practice their profession. They are also known to be compassionate, and friendly.  The Philippines is one of the few countries who sends quality medical professionals to United States, as a testament to its quality medical education. While there are even medical centers which are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), an American accreditatin group that also accredits hospitals in the United States.

The Health Tourism says that  the following are the pros of going to Philippines for medical tourism:
·   Prices
In the Philippines, prices of medical procedures are very cost-effective. overy process also cost less in this country. The living cost in Philippines is also very low when compared to foreign countries. So, even if the accommodation and transportation costs are added, the total treatment cost for visitors will be very much lower than their place or home country.
The following are cost comparisons between medical procedures and treatments done in the Philippines and equivalent procedures in the United States: (Note that all the costs are based on quality Hospitals in the Philippines)

Medical Procedures
ProcedureUS HospitalsPhilippinesAverage Savings
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery$70,000 – $133,000$11,500 – $17,50083% – 86%
Heart-valve Replacement$75,000 – $140,000$14,000 – $21,00081% – 85%
Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass$35,000 – $52,000$2,000 – $3,50092% – 94%
Hip Replacement$33,000 – $57,000$5,000 – $7,60084% – 86%
Knee Replacement$30,000 – $53,000$5,200 – $7,70082% – 85%
Prostate surgery (TURP procedure)$10,000 – $16,000$1,500 – $2,70083% – 85%
Liver Transplant$290,000 – $310,000$120,000 – $150,00051% – 58%
Kidney Transplant$200,000 – $250,000$23,000 – $25,00088% – 90%
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
ProcedureUS HospitalsPhilippinesAverage Savings
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)$6,000 – $10,000$3,000 – $4,00050% – 60%
Face Lift (rhytidectomy)$10,500 -16,000$3,500 – $4,50066% – 71%
Breast Augmentation (Mammoplasty)$7,500 – $8,500$3,000 – $3,50058% – 60%
Breast Reduction$8,000 – $10,000$3,000 – $3,20062% – 68%
Complete Liposuction (lipoplasty)$13,000 – $14,000$3,000 – $4,00071% – 76%
Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)$5,500 – $6,500$2,000 – $2,50061% – 63%
Eye / Ophthalmology
ProcedureUS HospitalsPhilippinesAverage Savings
Cataract surgery$1,500 – $2,500$800 – $90046% – 64%
General and Cosmetic Dentistry
ProcedureUS HospitalsPhilippinesAverage Savings
Dental Implant$3,500 – $5,500$500 – $60085% – 89%

·         Well trained medical staff

Medical staff are trained to international standards, and are highly-skilled. The medical staff are extremely courteous, and known to be hospitable people. Many doctors  has international exposure, being trained and having worked in places like US, Australia, and UK. Most of the doctors spend almost 2 months a year in the US, for advanced studies so as to be fully updated with the latest developments in their field of work. There are also latest advancements on their medical facilities.
·         Language
English is widely spoken among the medical staff, and doctors. Health travelers to this country are mostly  assisted by highly competent, English-speaking and Western-trained medical staff in over 2,000 hospitals in the country.
Hospital rules and signs are carried out in English. The medical staff can easily explain to their patients all they know regarding the medications to be taken and the precautions that should be followed after the treatment. This reduces the chances of misunderstanding which can occur between a foreign patient and a doctor. Moreover, the health care centers in Philippines have help desks and translators at your service.
·         Several top quality hospitals
Hospitals catering to health tourism have state-of-the-art facilities. For medical tourists, it is advisable to avail themselves of the medical tourism packages offered by private hospitals and health facilities if they want to get the best healthcare services available.
Top Hospitals for Medical Tourism in the Philippines

  • Philippine Heart Center – Quezon City
    Established in 1975, the Philippine Heart Center is regarded as one of the most active cardiac care treatment and surgery center in the Asia-Pacific region. Located in a 2.7 hectare facility with two hospitals and a medical arts building, the institution offers various cardiac, cardio-pulmonary and cardiovascular procedures for both local and international patients.
  • Asian Hospital and Medical Center – Muntinlupa City
    Established only in 2002, the Asian Hospital is the first major private health facility in the south of Metro Manila. Success came quickly, as in 2005 it received an award as the Most Outstanding Modern Hospital. It offers world-class treatments and facilities catering to both local and international patients seeking various health services including Cardiology, Cosmetic Surgery, Dermatology, Executive Health Screening, Oncology, General Surgery and Urology among others.
  • St. Luke’s Medical Center – Quezon City / Fort Bonifacio Global City
    The second JCI-accredited health facility in the Philippines, St. Luke’s Medical Center is the premiere health center in the Philippines that offers 21st century medical facilities and services using the most advanced technologies. Established in 1903, the hospital has 9 institutes, 13 departments and a total of 19 health centers offering various medical treatments and procedures. These cater for both local and international clientele.
  • Manila Doctors Hospital – Ermita, Manila
    Established in 1956, this ISO-certified health facility is a private tertiary hospital that offers various health and medical services catering to local and international patients. Among the services offered are Industrial Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, Radiology, Rehabilitation Medicine, Special Diagnostics, Laboratory Medicine and other Clinical services

Common Treatments Done by Medical Tourists in the Philippines
Foreign medical tourists to the Philippines usually go for aesthetic and un-complicated procedures, whilst Filipino expats return home for all types of medical procedures.
The following procedures are more common among non Filipino medical tourists:

·         Low cost accomodations and travel
5-star hotel room accommodation are available at very affordable prices. Aside from that, traveling to Philippines is easy as its capital city is well connected to almost all the major airports in the world. It is also cheap to travel to the  Philippines compared to other  countries. Those who wish to stay for a longer period should obtain a visa before they leave their native country.
·         A vacation destination
There are several choice vacation destinations in the Philippines that are perfect for fast and relaxing recovery after a medical procedure.
Tourists who undergo treatment in Philippines have the option of traveling around at any of the islands in the country. The islands provide a stress-free environment. It  also allows patient for proper after-care and follow-up treatments. Treat patients at many spa resorts and can experience a quick and enjoyable recovery.
Moreover, a lot of things have been talk about the Medical Tourism in the Philippines. Make sure to take note about these facts. Here are the myths of Medical Tourism in the Philippines as provided by the the Department of Tourism:
MYTH 1: Because it’s part of the tourism industry, medical tourism lacks credibility and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
FACT: First of all, the emphasis of the phrase is more on the medical aspect. It’s really about getting high-quality cost-effective healthcare services overseas, rather than obtaining treatments when you happen to be on vacation. If you decide to travel to the Philippines to seek medical treatment, be assured that Filipino doctors and health professionals have your safety and well-being as their top concerns. When you’ve recovered and received a clean bill of health from your doctor, you can then explore different destinations in the Philippines.
MYTH 2: Low cost means low quality.
FACT: Not in the Philippines. Because of the low cost of living in the country compared to developed nations, the top medical facilities—visited by the Filipino elite and upper-class themselves—offer very affordable rates for expatriates and tourists. These hospitals offer state-of-art equipment that are at par with topnotch institutions in the US and Europe. Many of their doctors are internationally trained and have accumulated extensive experience in their medical specialties. You’ll certainly receive the highest level of healthcare—without the staggering bills.
MYTH 3: Medical tourism is new in the Philippines.
FACT: For decades, people have been traveling to the Philippines to seek medical treatment, but only in recent years has the country been well-known as healthcare destination. This is because of the phenomenal growth of travelers visiting the country for medical and health-related reasons. It’s surely a growing industry, but the Philippines has long achieved medical breakthroughs and milestones (link to Medical Milestones and Achievements), making it one of Asia’s most advanced nations in the field of healthcare. Moreover, leading hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) or certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). With expert medical knowledge and the latest infrastructure in place, your health at the Philippines is in good hands.
MYTH 4: There are better healthcare destinations in the world compared to the Philippines.
FACT: Different places offer different things, and the Philippines is unlike any other. Aside from being highly skilled and fluent in English, Filipino doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are naturally warm, friendly and caring—traits you’ll have difficulty finding in other countries. Topnotch hospitals in the Philippines are at par with, if not better-equipped, than most hospitals in the US. You can get the same high-quality healthcare at a cost 50% to 80% lower compared to Europe. So it’s not a surprise that a growing number of medical travelers have been going to Philippines for safe, reliable and affordable healthcare.
MYTH 5: The arrival of medical tourists in the Philippines will make access to healthcare difficult for local patients.
FACT: On the contrary, the development of medical tourism will boost the healthcare industry in general, allowing easier access to healthcare for ordinary Filipinos. Medical tourism makes hospitals constantly improve their services and facilities, which local patients benefit from. Some hospitals geared for medical tourism allocate a percentage of their cases to charity as part of their corporate social responsibility program. Hence, healthcare in the Philippines gets a big boost from medical tourism.
If these things are on your check-list, no need of wasting time. Philippines is your home away remedy.
Medical Tourism is MORE fun in the Philippines!


Written by Proudly Filipino

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