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.