The Philippines gets its tools out to boost medical tourism

Source: Shutterstock.

IT TRULY IS more fun in the Philippines.

Having seen the potential in medical tourism, the Southeast Asian country is now fully focused on giving the sector the push it needs.

In 2015, the Philippines was ranked eighth among the top medical tourism destinations in the world, according to a list compiled by the International Healthcare Research Center and the Medical Tourism Association (MTA).

Furthermore, the country often highlights it’s well equipped with health and wellness services, and state-of-the-art facilities

Case in point, The Medical City Clark, a private tertiary hospital in Pampanga province known for its cutting-edge health services. It offers cardiovascular, cancer, neuroscience, and regenerative medicine, as well as wellness services, backed up with a medical staff that’s 1,500-strong.

The Medical City Clark is one of the leading hospitals in the Philippines’ healthcare industry. Source: Shutterstock.

Similarly, the country’s most populous city, Quezon City, is targeting to become one of the best medical tourism destinations in the world in three years.

“Quezon City is truly a medical and wellness destination. Some of the best hospitals in the country started in Quezon City, like St. Luke’s Medical Center, Capitol Medical Center, UERM (University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center), and even specialized hospitals like the Heart Center, Lung Center, Kidney Center, among others,” Interaksyon quoted Mayor Herbert Bautista as saying.

“A good number of new hospitals like the ones in Commonwealth and Mindanao Avenues serve as places to seek recovery and healing.”

Why does going to the Philippines for medical treatment sounds like a good idea?

Strategic location

Located in one of the most strategic spots in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is at the center of the trade routes of China, Japan, and Australia.

Makati city skyline at sunset in Manila, the Philippines. Source: Shutterstock.

The Philippines is also not a landlocked country so it’s easy to access from by air or by water.

The numbers don’t lie

Annually, the Philippines caters to 80,000 to 250,000 patients.

According to, inbound international patients come from East Asia, Sri Lanka, the Pacific Islands, Australia, North, and South America, Europe, the UK, and the Gulf States.

Warm Filipino hospitality

The country is home to people with compassion and warm hospitality that has made them distinctively Filipino.

The Filipino hospitality is something that Filipinos take pride in as they’re known to treat their guests warmly. Source: Shutterstock.

They also speak fluent English, as the language is taught in schools as one of the two official languages of the country, the other being Tagalog.

Medical visa

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has initiated a six-month medical visa as part of the plan to improve the country’s medical tourism.

The medical visa will be issued to tourists whose main purpose for travel to the Philippines is to seek medical treatment and medical surgery.

Sights and sounds

With bustling hubs like bayside city Manila and Quezon City, as well as over 7,100 islands, patients are free to pick and choose how they want to relax after a medical procedure.

The Unesco World Heritage rice terraces in Batad, northern Luzon, the Philippines. Source: Shutterstock.

The Philippines’ pristine beaches and sprawling rice terraces, coupled with the country’s balmy climate, also helps with the healing process.

Beating the price wars

Last but not least, while the cost of healthcare and is particularly expensive in countries such as the US or UK, prices in the Philippines are competitive.

Prices for medical services in the country is at a fraction of the cost compared to those in North America and Europe, ranging upward of 50 percent to 80 percent cheaper.

Between 2006 through 2010, the Philippines earned an estimated US$1.3 billion through medical tourism.

According to a study released by the HealthCORE Research Communications & Management Inc, it’s expected to go even higher in the coming years