Medical Tourism Philippines
The Philippines is a country of more than 7,000 islands with its capital, Manila, on Luzon Island. The country’s population is almost 111 million people with about 18 million residing in Manila. The landscape is diverse from idyllic beaches to burbling volcanic peaks, dense jungle and verdant mountains to huge cities like Manila to small remote villages and uninhabited islands. The majority of healthcare services are concentrated in the metropolitan areas like Manila, Cebu City and Davao City.
The country has a public healthcare system that is challenged to meet the needs of its burgeoning population spread over thousands of islands. Local clinics serve basic needs while urban hospitals public hospitals are very busy. The private sector is growing with state-of-the-art hospitals offering excellent care to those who can afford it from the country’s growing middle class. Dentistry, cosmetic surgery and various health and wellness services are increasingly available. The Government is committed to universal access to a basic set of healthcare services.
Thanks to the excellent training of its healthcare professionals including Filipino nurses who work all over the world, the Philippines has a tradition of caring for patients with excellent clinical skills and genuine empathy.
Medical Tourism Philippines: Roadmap for Medical Tourism Economic Development
The Government of the Philippines is a late entrant into the medical tourism sector and was unsure of how to leverage the sector and its existing assets for maximum economic development. Led by a Technical Working Group including experienced civil servants from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Tourism, and the private sector, Elizabeth Ziemba, President of Medical Tourism Training, was hired for the project with two major objectives.
First, an assessment of the private sector healthcare providers and a select group of public sector hospitals was conducted to determine the level of excess capacity of medical and dental services. Based on this assessment, the potential medical and dental services were identified that could appeal to a global audience. Second, the various components of services needed for a strong international medical travel sector were evaluated included health and wellness providers, infrastructure such as the airport and airport services, hotels and restaurants, tourism activities and other services.
Based on site visits, meetings and workshops, conferences, desk research and experience, a roadmap was created identifying recommendations to improve elements of the Customer Care Continuum™ for which the government has control as well as recommendations for the public and private healthcare and hospitality sectors to work more closely together to maximize the relationship between health and hospitality. Other issues including harmonization of language and definitions found in laws and regulations across the sectors were tackled to improve data collect to measure success.
By implementing the actionable recommendations in the roadmap report as well as continued cooperation among the Government agencies and the private sector, the Philippines initially saw a rise in tourism and medical tourism numbers; however, lack of political support and changing national priorities shifted away from medical tourism. In 2023, it looks like the Philippines will again focus on tourism and medical travel.
Our team of experts is available to engage in consulting projects to build your medical travel organization, region, providers, and other services that contribute to economic growth. Contact us today to explore how we can work together.