The Philippines

The Philippines is actively contending for Asia’s medical tourism customers, and the country has many advantages. Americans are a major portion of Asia’s customers due to the U.S.’s high health care costs, and the Philippines and the U.S. have a history of strong relations. Many Filipinos have lived in the U.S., and extensive travel exists between the two countries. This provides a pool of Filipino doctors that have been trained in the U.S. who find it attractive to return home to be near their extended families. It makes it more likely that naturalized Filipinos (and their offspring) who are now American citizens will consider having procedures in the Philippines. The Philippines is a beautiful tropical country, which adds value to the “tourism” part of its value proposition. It has been famous for many years for tourism, as a tropical paradise.

Its health care costs are very low when compared to the U.S. and the U.K., and new hospitals are springing up in Luzon and Davao, which are close to beautiful beaches (Discover Medical Tourism). They provide plastic surgery, hip and knee replacements, eye surgery, organ transplants and dental care. Cosmetic surgery procedures are: face lifts, rhinoplasty, abdominal tucks, liposuction and breast augmentation.

The capital, Manila, has been the focus of medical tourism traditionally, but the government has seen the opportunity and has been investing in building state-of-the-art hospitals in other large cities that are near famous spas such as Luzon and Davao.

In Manila, the Asian Hospital and Medical Center is affiliated with Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok. It is competent in complex procedures such as bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy, bypass heart surgery and radiology. Filipino nurses are known worldwide for their hospitality and high levels of personal services.

The government is committed to building a robust medical tourism industry, and it is pursuing accreditation by the JCI for its hospitals, which helps to define standards of care. The government has spent vast sums of money to install internationally revered standards of care in its hospitals, and all of the most modern technology can be found here. Spa resorts and stunning beaches provide the ideal place to recuperate after operations and other procedures.

Advantages

Costs are very low, and the quality of the facilities and medical staff is high. Many hospitals have the latest medical technology. Private hospital rooms are similar to five star hotels. The staff has excellent English language skills.

Disadvantages

The plane ride to the Philippines is very long, which is important to someone with a medical or health problem that makes them uncomfortable anyway. Weather can make convalescing more difficult as the Philippines is a tropical country. Crime is common in some parts of the large cities.

Cost Comparisons

Procedure

United States (USD)

Philippines (USD)

Bypass $20,000 $10,000
Kidney transplant $120,000 $60,000
Liposuction $6,000 $3,000
Dental implants $3,500 $500
Chief source: Compare the Cost of Elective Surgery Abroad, Treatment Abroad

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