The Philippines is developing its medical tourism industry to compete in other top Asian destinations for health tourism such as Singapore and Thailand. The efforts to develop and promote the country’s medical tourism are shared by the private and the government sectors in the country.

In Bacolod City, there is an on-going reflexology training at the New Government Center. The city government is offering the training as a program that will help boost the medical tourism industry in the city and in the country. According to Wilson Gamboa, a councilor in Bacolod City, trainings like this will help attract foreign patients to the country and will also provide alternative livelihood for the participants. Gamboa noted the growing trend of visiting health spas for relaxation and overall health. He doesn’t see the demand for massage therapists ebbing any time soon. Medical tourism covers not just medical treatments but also other services related to rest and relaxation to help patients recover faster.

The skills of the participants attending the event will be assessed by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The participants’ assessment fee of P 500, needed so that TESDA can recognize their skills, will be shouldered by the office of TESDA Provincial Director Yolanda Porschwitz. TESDA is the government agency that is tasked to develop technical skills in the Philippines. The agency offers technical courses to Filipinos aged 15-55 years old to turn them into skilled workers so that they can become world-class workers that can meet the expectations of employers.

Researchers from Malaysia reported positive results of blood stem cell research. The process involves the use of intra-articular injections of autologous peripheral blood stem cells with hyaluronic acid to cause hyaline cartilage regeneration.

Doctors at the Kuala Lumpur Sports Medicine Centre and the University of Putra Malaysia had a clinical trial of the procedure. The study involved ten patients who had chondral defects. The patients were followed for two years after they were treated with arthroscopic multiple subcondral drillings. MRI scans on patients whose knees were injected with weekly doses of intra-articular injections of peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) showed that the subchondral bone began to heal. Patients also had improved post-operative IKDC scores aside from their hyaline cartilage having mature and full-thickness chondrocytes. According to the report, the patients did not experience any adverse reactions. The patients only experienced some discomfort during the processing of PBSCs and during the intra-articular injections.

The positive results of the test were disclosed by Khay-Yong Saw, the lead investigator in the study in the British Orthopedic Association’s Annual Congress.

Since results of the clinical trials were encouraging, the procedure has been performed by Saw 160 times. According to Saw, the process is a very cost-effective way for producing chondrongenesis.

The medical tourism industry in the Middle East is experiencing vigorous growth. This is despite the slowdown in the global economy. The Middle East is in a unique position because it has many well-developed hospitals. But because there are many affluent citizens from the region, many nations are targeting the Middle East for their own medical tourism industries.

The very first cochlear implant surgery procedure to be performed by a government hospital in Southeast Asia was recently performed at the Universitiy Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (PPUKM) in Malaysia. The surgery was performed on a 36-year old patient named Dewiseri Taib. Taib was partially deaf. The surgery is allows patients who are hearing-impaired to hear.

According to a new report by Research and Markets, the medical tourism in India will continue to grow through the year 2012.  The report, entitled “Booming Medical Tourism in India”, reports that medical tourism remains the fastest growing segment of the economy in India.