Dangers of Medical Tourism: Filipinos’ Health Neglected By Government
According to Dr. Gene Nisperos of the Health Alliance for Democracy, the average Filipino is witnessing the dangers of medical tourism, but now how you might expect. The present government spends a meager $0.006 per day on the health of each Filipino. This has given rise to concerns that only cash rich medical tourists are being catered to by the government which seems to be neglecting the health of the common man. Medical programs implemented by the government are not meant to make health services accessible to the ordinary people. In the Philippines, five out of ten Filipinos die for want of adequate medical attention. Maternal mortality rates are also high. There are questions being raised about the dangers that surface when medical tourism is promoted at the cost of local healthcare. In 2006, environmental disasters were compounded by malarial, dengue fever epidemics, diarrhea, and neonatal sepsis. The Department of Health (DoH) fined several doctors and staff members of the Rizal Medical Center (RMC) for failing miserably to prevent these outbreaks.
Disadvantages of Medical Tourism Policies of the Government
Dr. Nisperos alleged that the present government was intent on increased healthcare privatization and the promotion of medical tourism while the need of the hour was to better the quality of public healthcare. Last year, the government embarked on a series of promotion plans aimed at encouraging foreign medical tourists to visit the country, but the local populace hardly benefited from these programs. These programs were designed to raise revenues while downplaying the disadvantages of medical tourism. Filipinos who could afford to pay for healthcare and medical tourists were prioritized in order to increase revenues, and ordinary Filipinos were ignored.