How Could Medical Tourism Impact Travel to the Philippines?

If there’s one market in the whole of travel that’s rocketed into the spotlight over the past few years, it’s medical tourism. ‘Medical tourism’ is the growing trend of travelling abroad with the intention of undergoing some form of medical procedure. With improving healthcare systems around the world, it’s not difficult to see why and the Philippines is no exception.

The question lies, however, in whether people will and should bypass their cheap dental implants London , and instead travel across oceans for the same procedure. We then have to ask ourselves, how exactly will this expanding market benefit travel to the Philippines?

Why do people actually travel for healthcare?

There’s no denying that some people do travel for their healthcare for the sole reason that it gets them away from home. The lure of the new and different attracts people of all ages, but the pull of medical tourism goes beyond just the sights and smells you could encounter while you’re abroad. Cost savings is probably the biggest persuader, with healthcare costs often being lower when you go abroad, at least in the case of certain procedures.

A hip replacement, for example, could cost you between $33,000 and $57,000 in the USA, while the Philippines offers an 84-86% saving , with costs only sitting at around $5,000-$7,600. If the savings aren’t enough, medical tourism can offer benefits in better quality of care, speciality treatments, access to treatments that are otherwise inaccessible in a country of origin, and shorter waiting times to name but a few. Listed like this, it’s easy to see just why the market is soaring.

How Could Medical Tourism Impact Travel to the Philippines?

The Philippines as a Medical Tourism destination.

With between 80,000 and 250,000 medical tourists visiting the Philippines each year, there’s no denying that the industry is well on its way to booming already. Patients come from the likes of Sri Lanka, East Asia, Europe, the Gulf States, North and South America, Australia and expatriates and workers even find themselves travelling back home for medical procedures. But what does the Philippines have to offer that helps it stand out from the 195-country strong crowd?

For a start, the majority of healthcare providers in the Philippines will speak some level of English, and with modern medical facilities, a high-quality infrastructure and a naturally caring community, countries with overcrowded healthcare systems can find themselves drawn to the Philippines for a more personal experience. Rather than being rushed out of the door once the minimum stay time passes, patients are offered a warmer approach that appeals to people of all ages from all over the world.

Whether a patient is searching for surgeries, therapies, cosmetic services or dental services, it’s highly lightly that the procedure someone may be seeking will be on offer somewhere within the Philippines in a trusted, state of the art facility.

So what benefits can increased travel through medical tourism provide?

Like with any kind of tourism, increased medical tourism in the Philippines has its benefits for the country, and of course this is namely in the economy. Tourism in general can make up for a good cut of a country’s annual revenue, and with medical tourism encouraging bigger tourist spending in the way of payout for procedures, the Philippines could see this on a bigger scale than ever before.

The potential increase in medical tourism also encourages the reform of key infrastructures and the improvement of not only private, but public facilities too, which can ultimately increase general tourism through the promotion of better and higher-quality stays.

The benefits then come full circle, with an increased general tourism industry helping to boost the economy further, only encouraging further development and improvement for both medical and general tourists.

What challenges do the Philippines have to face? Could the benefits help?

However, like with any country, the Philippines has its challenges to overcome. The question is, do these challenges need to be faced before it can truly start to promote medical tourism? The medical industry in the Philippines is still maturing, it’s a simple fact. It’s no secret that public healthcare and medical facilities can leave a lot to be desired and while private healthcare is thriving in the Philippines, the locals can find themselves lacking.

There are plenty of gems, such as the Heart, Lung and Kidney centres and the Philippine Children’s Medical Centre, but there is still a way to go before the public healthcare standards reach that of the private sector. Medical Tourism to the private facilities now can serve to increase the entire country’s revenue and, with time, the cycle we mentioned previously could very well start to take effect!

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