Health Services in the Philippines…Not Just for the Elections

The Philippines as a Medical Travel Hub

The Philippines, like its Asia-Pacific counterparts, is now being packaged and positioned as a medical travel destination. It is fast-tracking the development of all of its health systems to compete with India, Thailand, and the others that are becoming pioneers in medical tourism. Because rising costs are becoming such a major problem in health care in the West, the Philippines maintains that it stands a good chance of competing with other centers of medical travel as far as cost advantage is concerned. It is now busy marketing cardiac treatments and promoting the best hospitals for heart care in the country.

Rising Costs Are Also a Major Problem in Health Care in the Philippines

There now is an ongoing debate on the country’s positioning as a medical travel center in the face of serious health problems bugging its 87 million population. Auxiliary services seldom get delivered to the towns in the hinterlands. Public health is in a dismal state when compared to more progressive Asian neighbors. Promotions on state-of-the-art hospital and equipment, especially for the best hospitals for heart care here, are a slap in the face for any Filipino who suffers from illness or injury but can’t afford basic treatment. Private health, even with the advent of “affordable” health insurance, is still inaccessible to many average Filipino citizens.

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Cosmetic procedures are a different story however. The country has very good clinics, but are ordinary Filipinos in need of such services, even if they are affordable? Many feel that public or private health care services should be first on the agenda of those in the government, elections or no elections. The basic health of Filipinos should take priority over and above the need to provide medical tourism or retirement havens for international tourists.

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