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Health and Wellness Industry (Medical Tourism)

281842 Views 800 Replies 208 Participants Last post by  Animo
i know we talked about this before in a previous thread.. but now here is a real plan by the government to promote medical tourism.. i say it solves about 3-5 problems of the country right out if the implementation of the program would be very good.. what do you guys think?

RP program seen to attract foreign patients


First posted 10:52am (Mla time) Nov 11, 2005
By Leila B. Salaverria
Inquirer News Service


TO KEEP doctors and nurses from leaving the Philippines and entice back those who have left, the government will bring the foreign patients to the country.

The Philippine Medical Tourism (PMT) program, set for launching next month, is aimed at attracting foreigners to come to the Philippines for medical treatment and enjoy the country’s tourist attractions on the side.

Authorities hope the program will not just bring in the much-needed revenues but also stem the exodus of medical professionals.

The first phase, with five government and five private hospitals participating, will have its soft launch on December 14.

According to Health Undersecretary Dr. Jade del Mundo, the perceived lack of medical experts because of the medical brain drain would not hinder the program but would in fact stop the exodus.

“Those in United States will be enticed to come back and those in the Philippines will be enticed to stay. In effect, we’ll keep the doctors here,” he said.

Del Mundo said doctors participating in the PMT would be receiving higher compensation.

“Their salaries will increase. We’ll make sure the compensation will be of international standards,” he said.

He said the Philippines enjoys several advantages in this field as its medical professionals are highly skilled and proficient in English. Also, medical costs here are comparatively lower than in the West.

When you couple these benefits with the tourist attractions and exotic locales, it would make an attractive package, he said.

Not all doctors will qualify to practice under the PMT. Only those who come from accredited institutions and have received the proper training would be allowed to participate, he said.

Also, only accredited government and private hospitals would be allowed to treat patients under the program.

The government expects to earn 300 million dollars from the PMT’s first year of operation and 1 billion dollars a year for the next five years.

The medical procedures to be offered range from elective, which include liposuction, cosmetic surgery and dental surgery, to life-saving, including kidney transplants, cancer treatment and coronary bypass surgery.

State hospitals participating in the first phase of the PMT are the Philippine Heart Center, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, the Lung Center, the Children’s Medical Center and the East Avenue Medical Center.

The private hospitals are the St. Luke’s Medical Center, the Asian Hospital, Medical City, the Makati Medical Center, and the Capitol Medical Center.

The government also plans to put up medical centers in tourist destinations like Boracay where simpler medical procedures can be performed.
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I've had the same experience several times, the last time when I tried to get an appointment for ultrasound a week or two before Christmas. It was urgent, and I tried several hospitals which turned me down. It turns out they only have one or two specific days in the week for ultrasound, and they were already full. One hospital said I should call back because they weren't sure if the doctor would go on leave. I couldn't help bltching either. I had the impression a lot of doctors were on leave for the holidays. I wanted to stick the Hippocratic oath up their sinuses. Not to mention up those bltchy receptionists/secretaries/whatever. It's too bad when these people had to act like GOD to their clientele.

But I don't think these should discourage medical tourism in the country. On the contrary, if the project pushes through, it will have a beneficial influence on the work ethics of local medical practitioners, as well as upgrade the quality of medical care in general by attracting more competent doctors and nurses to stay or to come back to work in the country.
dancethingy said:
Okay, so i want to take this moment to bitch.


My lolo just got here from Chicago last week, well maybe more than a week i don't remember. He's 89 years old and has cardiac problems related to old age, all his medical ailments are due to old age, and our first agenda for this week was to see a good cardialogist at the heart center. So we did, but the problem was, we were made to wait two hours for the cardiologist that never even showed up. I hear that this is very common here in the Philippines; you know, the i'll wait forever for a doctor to show up because they are so GOD. That Physicians here just love to feel important that they feel they have the right to let their patients wait long hours in their offices. Ok, i have to be frank, Foreigners would NEVER come to this country for medical purposes just to be disrespected. There's a punctuality issue that will get in the way. In America Physicians are inclined to respect their patients and one important way of showing it is being PUNCTUAL.
Stephen, I agree with you. Not all doctors in the country are like that. There are still many competent doctors here who go out of their way to help a patient. I have seen real heroism in our medical practitioners. There are those who, despite better offers abroad, prefer to remain to serve their fellow Filipinos. Hopefully, medical tourism will give them an opportunity to get the compensation that they deserve.
stephencua said:
@dance - not all doctors are like that though.. i peronally know of several doctors who would go out of their way to help a patient.. though the patient still has to wait several minutes to see him cuz of the volume of patients that he sees everyday..
I agree with this. I don't think we're saying all doctors in the pHils are like that. However this experience of Dancethingy is not an isolated case and pretty common experience of most people.
In fairness i'm sure the DOT has done due dilligence in ensuring this program takes off, including great customer service of doctors. What it needs now is just implementation.
heathcliff said:
I've had the same experience several times, the last time when I tried to get an appointment for ultrasound a week or two before Christmas. It was urgent, and I tried several hospitals which turned me down. It turns out they only have one or two specific days in the week for ultrasound, and they were already full. One hospital said I should call back because they weren't sure if the doctor would go on leave. I couldn't help bltching either. I had the impression a lot of doctors were on leave for the holidays. I wanted to stick the Hippocratic oath up their sinuses. Not to mention up those bltchy receptionists/secretaries/whatever. It's too bad when these people had to act like GOD to their clientele.

But I don't think these should discourage medical tourism in the country. On the contrary, if the project pushes through, it will have a beneficial influence on the work ethics of local medical practitioners, as well as upgrade the quality of medical care in general by attracting more competent doctors and nurses to stay or to come back to work in the country.
I think a convention inviting all health care workers participating in this medical tourism should be put together in order that all medical workers and facilities be on the same page about legal and cultural issues. They also need to do a session on common courtesy.
Philippines launches medical tourism campaign
January 13, 2006

Officials launched a campaign Wednesday to promote so-called medical tourism in the Philippines in an effort to grab a slice of the multibillion-dollar industry. In a program to formally promote the archipelago as "islands of wellness," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said government agencies and private clinics and hospitals will strive to make the Philippines the "new hub of wellness and medical care in Asia."

He said the country was gearing up to compete directly with other Asian countries that are years ahead in the industry.

Medical tourism, which combines both health care and travel and leisure, last year generated more than one billion dollars in revenues for Thailand, India and Malaysia, Duque said.

"We believe that the Philippines can tap into the remaining huge market potential and generate this kind of amount once we take off in the next five years and thereon push ahead," he said.

He said "it's not too late" for Filipinos to catch up with other Asians. "I think we still have very many worthy qualities as health care providers, and our medical and surgical capabilities are quite comparable, if not superior," he said.

He said the government also hopes the campaign "will be an attractive strategy to reverse the current outward migration of our professionals, prompt new doctors to stay and lure back our health workers who had international training."

Health Undersecretary Jade del Mundo said the medical brain drain, which has seen doctors take higher-paying jobs abroad as nurses, "could bring us to the brink of a health crisis."

As an added benefit, the growth of medical tourism could generate enough revenues for the country to improve overall health care by increasing the number of hospital beds for the poor and making expensive advanced medical equipment available to them, Duque said.

He said the components of the new program include medical, surgical and dental care, health and wellness, traditional and alternative health care, long-term tourism and the establishment of international retirement and medical zones.

The prices of medical and surgical procedures in the Philippines are 30 percent to 50 percent cheaper than elsewhere, he said. A coronary bypass costing about US$50,000 in the United States is only about US$25,000 in the country, with comparable clinical expertise and facilities, as well as complication and success rates, he said.

Elizabeth Nell, a program director at the Department of Tourism, said the Philippines will target medical tourists from the United States -- particularly the large Filipino-American community -- along with Europe, Australia, South Korea, Japan and Pacific island states.
RP poised as Asia's newest health and wellness hub


MANILA – The Philippines is being geared as Asia's newest health and wellness hub through the recently-launched Philippine Medical Tourism Program (PMTP).

"The Philippines offers several competitive advantages over our Asian neighbors in the areas of human resources, economics and tourism. Most if not all of our physicians have clinical postgraduate training or experience in the US or Europe," said Health Secretary Francisco Duque during the launching of the PMTP at the Manila Diamond Hotel.

He cited that aside from its dedication to their professions, Filipinos are known as very compassionate, hospitable and caring.

Among the services offered by the programs are: medical, surgical, and dental care, health and wellness (spa services), traditional and alternative healthcare, long term tourism, international retirement health zones (irhz) and international medical zones (imz).

"The price differential is 30 to 50 percent in favor of the Philippines. For instance, Coronary Artery Bypass (CABG) costs US$ 50,000 in the US.. in the Philippines, with the same clinical expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, complication rate, and success rate, it costs only US$ 25,000," he said.

Health tourism had been a sunshine industry in most parts of Asia. The country aims match or even surpass neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and India, all of which posted US$ 1-billion in revenues from patients flocking in for treatment.

Globally, healthcare is said to be the largest industry earning revenues estimated at US$ 2.8 trillion annually.

"We believe that the Philippines can tap into the remaining huge market potential and generate this kind of amount once we take off in the next five years and thereon push ahead," he said.

The PMTP is a multi-sectoral intiative which aims to attract international patients to the country for medical care, as well as sight seeing tours, vacation, and shopping packages.

He cited that the country also boasts of its competitive local healthcare industry, favorable foreign currency exchange and the significantly lower prices that medical practitioners offer in its medical and surgical services.

"Moreover, the country boasts of exotic locales be it eco, heritage, bio, or aqua-tourism. Leveraging these strengths will be crucial to further growth and development," he added.

He also expressed hopes that the program would be an attractive strategy to reverse the current outward migration of our professionals, prompt new doctors to stay and lure back our health workers who had international training.

"We envision medical tourism to be an effective strategy to mobilize and strengthen our human resources for health. We aim to convince them to serve the country while raising their salaries that are at par with international standards," he said.

Departments involved in the program are the DoH, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and firms from the medical industry.

Accredited hospitals are the Philippine Centers for Specialized Healthcare (PCSH) composed of the Philippine Heart Center, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, the Lung Center of the Philippines, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, and East Avenue Medical Center, and several private medical centers, clinics, and surgical centers are also included. Duque bared that the next phase of the PMTP is to bring the program in the regional level.
Last night, there was a segment about medical tourism in Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho. It stated that prices here are much (50%) cheaper than that of the US and our doctors are well educated. The segment interviewed a bunch of foreigners and stated that a lot of them go here for Lasik Eye treatment...heheheheh just wanna share
^^ahh which reminds me!! My mum wants that Pinoy TV of GMA instead of TFC hahahaha..when will that come to Oz?!!..sO off topic..never mind.
Medical tourism: RP's pain or gain?
By MIRIAM V. TORRECAMPO

The Alliance of Health Workers yesterday claimed that the recently launched medical tourism program of the government will do more harm than good to health workers and the already ailing healthcare system.

Jossel Ebesate, secretary general of AHW, said that in line with the medical tourism program, six specialty hospitals will be integrated to form the Philippine Centers for Specialized Healthcare (PCSH).

Medial tourism offers cost-effective medical treatments combined with special tourist destinations to patients from other countries.

Stakeholders said that patients are expected to flock to the Philippines because of medical rates lower than those offered by India and Thailand.

Ebesate said foreign patients, who usually can afford treatments, will then benefit from state hospitals which were built, ironically, with the use of people's money.

The proposed PCSH will integrate the resources and services of six government-run hospitals, namely the Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine Children and Medical Center and the East Avenue Medical Center.

The PCSH will also include a 1,000-bed Women's Medical Center that would take the place of Fabella Hospital. It will be built on a lot adjacent to the NKTI.

A national Reference Laboratory for Degenerative Diseases, centers for blood diseases, brain, cancer, physical therapy as well as rehabilitation and a Medical Arts Building for clinics of 1,280 doctors will also be built in the mega-medical site.

The proposed PCSH will be completed in 2010.

Ebesate said that for ordinary health workers, medical tourism would mean layoffs and threats to their security of tenure.

He explained that functions will be duplicated as a result of mergers. There will also be higher qualification standards for specialized care.

Nurses at present work for 12 hours and above due to lack of personnel.

"With medical tourism, it would mean additional workload for the nurses because they will be caring for foreign patients who expect world-class service," Ebesate added.

Ebesate also predicted that the exodus of health personnel will continue.

He lamented that the billions-dollar income that the government expects to gain from medical tourism will not contribute to the betterment of health workers for as long as "health budget remains low, no salary increase, no allocation for benefits, and non-implementation of existing laws like Nursing Law."

Ebesate stated that discrimination is expected in the healthcare system with foreigners ending up getting royal treatment, while poor Filipinos likely to be treated with apathy.

"Right now, Filipinos needing heart surgery or kidney transplant could not be treated due to lack of money. They have to wait until there is a government subsidy for their operation. (Seeing) foreign patients based on our day-to-day experience in the hospitals, we are almost sure that foreigners will be given priority," Ebesate said.
OT...Pinoy TV is the worst thing TV has ever had.
Espma said:
^^ahh which reminds me!! My mum wants that Pinoy TV of GMA instead of TFC hahahaha..when will that come to Oz?!!..sO off topic..never mind.
^^^ahhh you serious?!!! isn't GMA kicking ass there in the Philippines?!!..
i mean...i like that SOP show..:( am I waiting for something not worthwhile?!! LOL...
^^ yup, GMA is kicking ass right now, they've got better ratings than ABS lol, but some of their shows and talent do...well suck! hehehehe
^^end of discussion^^ LOL sorry peeps..

GO MEDICAL TOURISM PHILIPPINES!!
Medical tourism plan offers Filipino massage
First posted 03:20am (Mla time) Feb 07, 2006
By Christian V. Esguerra
Inquirer
Editor's Note: Published on page A1 of the Feb. 7, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
Link to the article




IN THE future, the place to go for a soothing massage will be the hospital nearest you.

The government is set to make spas, health and wellness centers a regular feature of major hospitals in Metro Manila to lure more foreigners to its medical tourism program.

A 2,500-square-meter complex at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City is scheduled for a facelift to house a new Institute for Filipino Massage, as well as a health and wellness center, by October, according to Health Undersecretary Jade del Mundo.

The institute will be the main facility promoting indigenous Filipino massage therapies to both local and foreign patients. The centers will highlight traditional and alternative health care, such as herbal medicine, naturopathy and chiropractic medicine.

Later on, Del Mundo said, other government hospitals would house similar institutes and centers under the medical tourism program. Private hospitals would also be encouraged to follow suit, he said.

goal is to market our own brand of health care,” he told the Inquirer in an interview.

The construction of the new centers will be another strategy in the promising local medical tourism program from which the government is expecting to earn $300 million (P15.6 billion) in its maiden year.

Del Mundo said industry leaders, like India and Thailand, that began their respective programs in the late 1990s, recorded their highest annual revenue of $600 million (P31.2 billion) only last year.

“The prospects are really promising for the Philippines,” he said, noting Filipino health professionals’ expertise and good command of the English language.

Part of the program is an aggressive marketing of the Filipino hilot (massage) primarily using virgin coconut oil, he said.

Indigenous massage

On April 18-19, the government will hold the Philippine Indigenous Massage Festival at the Manila Pavilion Hotel, showcasing nine indigenous techniques that represent Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Participants will be selected from regional competitions initiated by the Department of Health, Del Mundo said.

Representatives of each group would then be tapped as instructors of people seeking jobs at the planned government spas and wellness centers in hospitals, he said.

Del Mundo said the different forms of indigenous massage and their practitioners would subscribe to a manual and code of ethics for hilot and herbolaryo (herbologist) which would be developed during the festival.
Local hilots excited over gov't medical tourism plan

Naval, Biliran (8 February) -- While some medical practitioners in the countryside complain of the local folks preference for hilot (Filipino massage) and tambalan (quack doctor) for its minimal fees, local hilots get excited over the government's plan of medical tourism in the country which for them means additional income for their families.

In a rural area like Naval, most people resort to the expertise of the local hilot, who usually have no formal medical schooling, for minor body pains, sprains, cough and flu. Even the educated and the moneyed in this capital town of Biliran do not discredit the capability of the local hilot for they also find relief in their hands.

Those deprived of financial capacity usually depend solely on hilot and tambalan but those with the money seek the expertise of both hilot and a licensed medical practitioner to ensure better health.

Though projecting a better income with the medical tourism plan, the local hilots fear, they might be downgraded by the presence of local hilots with trainings and short term courses in physical thyrapy.

In an interview with a masseuse with a short term course on physical therapy, it was learned that she is currently accredited in a hospital in Metro Manila to assist expectant mothers in the labor room with higher pay because the patients are mostly rich and foreigners in this hospital.

She even offers packaged home service massage to families where she is served free meals and snacks and relieved from space rental.

However, local patients also fear of possible inavailability of local hilots for them and increase in the hilot's service fee if ever they are hired in hospitals and be in demand for foreign patients who give them dollar fees.

One known local hilot of Naval is currently spending a vacation with her daughter in the states. It was learned from her family who was left behind that she is being fetched for a home service hilot by Filipinas who were once her patients in their younger days in Naval and who are now married with children to foreigners. These Filipinas who have resided in the western country for several decades still believe in the local hilot's magic hands against the western advance technology.
taken from philstar.com..

Playing catch-up in medical tourism
BIZLINKS By Rey Gamboa
The Philippine Star 03/06/2006

For decades some of our Asian neighbors and European countries have reaped whopping economic benefits from medical tourism. Although a bit late in the ballgame, the Philippine Medical Tourism Program (PMTP) was finally created through EO 372 and launched last year.

PMTP, according to its proponents, is a private-public initiative aimed at attracting foreign clients to the Philippines for needed medical care as well as health and wellness services coupled with sightseeing tours, vacation, and shopping packages.
Wishful thinking
PMTP claims that medical tourism will bring in projected revenues of $2 billion from expected 700,000 medical tourists in five years time. This sounds, to me, like wishful thinking.

If the Philippines wants to seriously compete against other countries for medical tourists and the billions of green bucks from this industry, it has to drastically improve its air travel facilities and arrangements, tourist destinations, hospitals and facilities (clinics are rare in many resort places), and, as we have repeatedly emphasized, must develop a culture of tourism.
What Thailand offers
Take the case of Thailand. Its medical tourism industry is now a multi-billion dollar enterprise simply because the country followed to a T the tenets of basic tourism while focusing on a niche market.

(While India is considered the top medical tourism destination at the moment, Thailand, together with Malaysia and Singapore are quickly gaining reputation as key destinations in the region.)

Medical tourism emphasizes on the integration of medical treatment and rest and recreation, especially for post-operative cases which need a significant amount of tranquility and relaxation to promote healing. Medical tourists are first and foremost patients who obviously need the least discomfort before and especially after a medical procedure.

When a medical tourist goes to Thailand, he can opt to fly directly from Europe and other parts of Asia to Phuket. Upon arrival at Phuket, there is a personal guide who will join him and assist him with all his medical appointments and procedures, including transfers to his chosen resort facility.

Now that’s truly promoting healing and relaxation. Indeed, all of these services are geared to making the medical tourist‚s short (but modestly priced) stay in Thailand as hassle-free and smooth as possible.
What we now have
On the other hand, if a medical tourist avails of the services of our highly competent doctors in Manila and would wish to spend time in key destinations such as Boracay, he would have to endure at least an hour or so in the lounge of a relic that is the Manila Domestic Terminal.

There is also that hour-long land trip to the Caticlan Port and a 20-minute banca ride (on choppy waters during monsoon season) to reach the famous island’s white sand beaches. Then, there is another short hike to where the resorts are. A recovering patient obviously will die if exposed to all these travel rigors.
Finding that niche
Let’s set aside, in the meantime, the need for basic infrastructure such as more comfortable airport facilities and modern, adequately furnished hospitals in key tourist destinations. Let’s assume that we can still attract some medical tourists with what we have. Still, it would do well for local medical tourism proponents to identify those market niches where they may be competitive in order to achieve realistic business growth in this sector.

Thailand, for instance, had chosen cosmetic surgery as the flagship of its multi-billion dollar medical tourism industry; this has no doubt propelled the country in its bid to get a generous chunk of the world’s market.

Other countries, like Israel for example, advertise their expertise in treating both male and female infertility as well as in-vitro fertilization and high risk pregnancies. In India, some health care networks actively involved in medical tourism have begun venturing into medical outsourcing "where subcontractors provide services to the overburdened medical care systems in western countries."
Some possibilities for us
We need not compete on the specializations that the Thais, Israelites and Indians have chosen. There are many other niches in medical tourism waiting to be developed. Take wellness, alternative and natural healing processes, for example.

The Philippine Institute of Traditional and Health Care has been conducting conferences on, among others, clinical findings and uses of the now very popular virgin coconut oil, electrotherapy to fight AIDS and reverse cancer, and herbal medicines and organic food production or other alternative procedures and approaches to health.

The Philippines can also position itself as the dental care capital of Asian medical tourism. Balikbayans, after making the rounds of shopping malls, often seek out their local hosts‚ dentists for various dental procedures. Apparently, dental services abroad are usually not covered by basic health insurance policies and very costly in many countries.

So, how about it? Marketing the country to medical tourists as an alternative medicine and healing center (anyone for spiritual healers?) or as a dental care hub are some of the niches we may have to look at as we play catch up in the medical tourism business.
There was a time that 'hilots' were branded by the government as quacks. Now, they see traditional medicine as gaining a foothold in the Western world what with the proliferation of alternative/holistic medicine. Even acupuncture is now covered by medical insurance in the US.
Health Spas and Holistic Wellness Centers

This Thread is all about resorts, the top 10 resort in the Philippines, all about proposed resort, and everything about resort. Pls. support this thread, muahhhhh. Guys, here's my list, THE TOP 10 RESORTS IN THE PHILIPPINES.

1. Shangrila Mactan Island Resort and Spa - Cebu
2. Cebu Hilton Resort and Spa - Cebu
3. Plantation Bay Resort and Spa - Cebu
4. Pearl Farm Resort - Davao
5. Fairways - Boracay
6. Dakak Beach Resort - Zamboanga
7. El Nido - Palawan
8. Amanpulo Resort - Palawan
9. Badian Island Resort - Cebu
10.Alegre Beach Resort - Cebu

Its summer time na guys, we'll go to the beach.
^^ is that you pnggirl on your avatar? id love to see you on the beach! :D
Ako rin... saka paturo ako mag langoy.. nyehehe :p
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