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Philippines Medical Tourism

With the rising costs of health care in first world countries, many developing nations like the Philippines are now promoting their medical-tourism industries to patients from all over the globe.  Medical tourism or medical travel involves traveling to other countries to obtain health care.

Because the Philippines is a developing nation and its national currency, the Philippine Peso is weaker than the US dollar, expensive medical procedures can be done in the country for a fraction of the cost when you have it done in first-world nations.  This is why Medical Tourism to the Philippines is currently on the rise. The Philippines is banking on a number of factors to make it a top destination for medical tourists.  The most important factor of course is the availability of hospitals and healthcare facilities that can attend to patients.

There is no lack of technologically-advanced hospitals in the Philippines especially in the nation’s capital, Manila. Private hospitals in Manila usually charge at least 300% higher than what public hospitals charge for the same type of medical procedure but the difference in price also spell a huge difference in the type of facilities and quality of services offered by these private hospitals compared to what’s being offered by public hospitals.

High-end private hospitals may charge an arm and a leg for medical procedures but the prices are still affordable when you compare them to the rates charged by top-notch facilities in first-world countries.  This is why traveling to developing nations like the Philippines has become an attractive option for citizens of first-world countries who have no medical insurance or whose medical procedure is not covered. Traveling to the Philippines is also an attractive option for those who are interested in undergoing cosmetic procedures.  There are several world-class facilities in Manila that offer cosmetic procedures. Going to the Philippines for cosmetic procedures will guarantee that you get to spend the recuperation period in a relaxed environment. You can check-in a world class resort or hotel and wait until you get cleared to travel by your doctor.  Sometimes going to a different country for a cosmetic procedure is also the best option for those who want to be discreet about the whole thing.  A patient can book a procedure, take a leave from work, fly to the Philippines, check-in a wonderful hotel, undergo cosmetic surgery, stay in the Philippines until the surgical wounds have healed and travel back home.

Apart from the high-end private hospitals with well-trained doctors and staff, and technologically-advanced equipment there are also hundreds of small private hospitals in the Philippines. These hospitals may not be equipped to perform high-risk medical procedures like heart transplants but they are often dependable enough for non-emergency cases.

A patient can undergo medical, cosmetic or dental procedures in the Philippines.  The key is in finding the right hospital to perform the specific operation that you require. Different hospitals have different specializations and it is best to go to the hospital or medical facility whose expertise covers the kind of procedure you will undergo.

For medical procedures such as heart transplants and surgeries, one of the top private hospitals in the Philippines is the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. The hospital is a technologically-advanced medical facility that is accredited by the Joint Commission International. The hospital is also affiliated with the New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Memorial Sloan- Kettering Center.  The hospital has experts in the following fields: Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Radiation Oncology, Nuclear Medicine, Anesthesiology, Otorhinolaryngology, Rehabilitation, Emergency Medicine, Dentistry & Oral Surgery and Out-patient-care

A triple cardiac bypass surgery which would normally cost an average of US $ 250,000 in the US would cost about P 900,000 (US $21, 428.60 at the exchange rate of US $ 1= Php 42) when done in the St. Luke’s Medical Center. Add to that travel costs and expenses to be incurred during the recuperation period in the Philippines, the cost of having the procedure done in the Philippines would still be 80% lower than the cost of having the procedure done in the US.

The same medical procedure can be done for less than P 900,000 in the Philippine Heart Center, a specialist hospital that is operated by the government. The medical expertise of doctors at the Philippine Heart Center is comparable to the skills and expertise of doctors in private hospitals but the amenities are definitely more high-end in the private medical facilities.

A kidney transplant that normally costs upward of $200,000 in the US, costs about PhP 1,000,000 or $23, 809.50 in the Philippines.  The procedure can be done in the St. Luke’s Medical Center or in the other top-notch private hospitals in the country:  Asian Hospital and Medical Center, The Medical City, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Manila Doctors Hospital, UST Hospital and the Medical Center Manila. The procedure is also performed in the government-operated National Kidney and Transplant Institute.  Apart from kidney transplants, Filipino doctors are capable of performing various medical procedures involving the kidney. There are highly-skilled and qualified Nephrologists in the Philippines, not just in the country’s capital Manila but also in major cities. You can find nephrologists in Cebu, Davao and other cities where there are top notch medical facilities.  Kidney diseases being risky and treatments for diseases of the said organ being expensive in first-world countries, more and more patients are traveling to the Philippines, Singapore and other Asian countries for treatment and operations.

Cosmetic Procedures also cost between 10%- 40% less in the Philippines than in the United States.  The most common procedure- breast augmentation would cost over US $ 3,000 just for the surgeon’s fees.  The whole procedure including use of surgery room, anesthesia and other expenses can be anywhere between US $4,000- US $10,000 depending on the medical facility in the United States. The whole procedure will only cost between $2,000- $6,000 in the Philippines.  The cost if cosmetic surgery in the Philippines is comparable to the cost of plastic surgery in Delhi India.

For more price comparisons, Rhinoplasty, another common cosmetic surgery procedure only costs between US $250- $600 in the Philippines. The same procedure, costs between US $2500- $8,000 when done in the United States by a competent surgeon. Abdominoplasty, more popularly known as a tummy tuck costs an average of US $4000 in the Philippines. The procedure costs between US $6,000 - $10,000 in the United States.

Top-notch dental services cost very little in the Philippines. A simple tooth extraction can cost between $ 10- $ 20 in the country.  Smaller clinics even charge as little as P 300 or just a little over $ 7. To have four impacted teeth removed in the United States, it will cost a patient around $2,000 for the procedure. To have four impacted teeth taken out in the Philippines only costs between $800- $1,000 dollars.

Medical practitioners in private hospitals in the Philippines all have adequate education and superior training. Many of them go for training and certifications abroad. They also serve in medical facilities that are affiliated and certified by medical institutions abroad. Going to the Philippines and other foreign countries to obtain world-class healthcare is no longer a remote idea but an attainable possibility.

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