It's more fun and healthy in the Philippines!
By being located in one of the most strategic spots in Southeast Asia, the Philippines has also positioned itself on a pedestal in the field of medical tourism in the world.
The country’s tropical climate encourages healing and relaxation after medical procedures. Tourists can enjoy a good view of the country’s rich natural resources after a long medical, dental, or cosmetic procedure.
Filipino hospitality and compassion have also become an effective asset in welcoming medical visitors, especially when a lot of healthcare providers in the country are also proficient in English.
Moreover, the country puts itself at par with other rising medical tourism nations with its competitive pricing in health and wellness services, while at the same time offering cutting-edge facilities.
As a matter of fact, the Philippines made it to the list of medical tourist destinations compiled by the International Healthcare Research Center and Medical Tourism Association, peaking at number eight back in 2015.
Medical tourism is a phenomenon where people who live in a certain country travel to another to receive a greater or equal service due to affordability, availability or to seek more advanced treatments.
The World Health Organization describes medical tourists as people who elect to travel across international borders to receive some form of medical treatment whereas the most common services are dental care, cosmetic surgery, elective surgery, and fertility treatment.
In a statement, the Department of Tourism, Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry – Board of Investments identified five segments in the international medical travel sectors: tourists, those who come for spa and other wellness services; medical tourists, the ones who avail of low-acuity medical procedures; medical travelers, the ones who specifically avail of more complex procedures; international patients, including overseas Filipino workers, expats, and retirees; and accompanying guests, the guests or immediate kin of travelers.
The Philippines caters 80,000 to 250,000 patients annually, with clients coming from East Asia, Sri Lanka, the Pacific Islands, Australia, North, and South America, Europe, and the UK, and the Gulf States.
In the years 2006 through 2010, it was stated in a study released by the HealthCORE Research Communications & Management Inc. called Philippine Medical Tourism Compendium 2011: Facts, Figures & Strategies that the country earned an estimated $1.3 billion through medical tourism and is expected to go even higher in the following years.
Medical tourism in the Philippines highlights the country’s world-class facilities which consist of high-tech equipment, state-of-the-art hospitals, and intensive care facilities as cited in a research by the Balikbayan Media Center.
To improve the country’s medical tourism, Department of Tourism, according to CNN Philippines, has initiated a six-month medical as the agency will advertise the country as medical wellness and travel destination.
The agency is also working with the Department of Health for the Philippine Medical Tourism Program to promote Philippines’ medical tourism. According to the website of DOH, the program plans to “contribute a noticeable and quantifiable amount to the Philippine economy and improvement in the quality of life.” Its other objectives include an increase of the generation of jobs, institutions with advanced medical utilities, and an increase in visitors.
Moreover, the Quezon City government aspires to strengthen the city’s global standing as a preferred medical tourism destination. In fact, last June 2017, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista signed the “QC Medical Tourism Vision 2020 Commitment” which targets the city to become an international medical and wellness tourism destination in a span of three years.
Indeed, with high-end facilities and equipment, the Philippines has the key ingredients to be the next medical tourism haven in the world as Filipinos are known for their inherent skills, unique brand of caring and compassion, and their ability to integrate medical services with wellness and tourism.