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Allianz Worldwide Care

Healthcare in the Philippines



Introduction

Officially called the Republic of the Philippines, this island nation is situated in Southeast Asia. Its capital is Manila and it has more than seven thousand islands, making it the world’s twelfth most populous country.

Overview of Healthcare

Although there have been recorded cases of drug dependency and malnutrition in the Philippines, the healthcare system can still be considered to be of a good standard. This is despite the fact that the facilities may not be as impressive as those found in high-end US or European hospitals. The top Philippine hospitals include the Medical Centre in Alabang, the Asian Hospital, the Makati Medical Centre, the Medical City in Ortigas, and St. Lukes Medical Centre in Quezon City.

Medical practitioners in the Philippines are graduates from the top universities in the country and most of them have studied in US medical schools. Additionally, there are doctors that have practiced medicine in the US before sharing their expertise in the Philippines. Filipino nurses are also trained by nursing schools that have excellent standards. In fact, a large percentage of Filipino nurses go on to work in the US.
If you are looking for a dentist or a doctor, it is advisable to seek the opinions of other expatriates that have been in the Philippines for a number of years. 

Hospitals

Finding the right hospital in the Philippines is not considered too difficult as there are a number of options to choose from. The Philippines has both private and public healthcare institutions. Most of the government hospitals provide quality healthcare in the same way private hospitals do.

Although some people may have misconceptions, most of them are unfounded. The main difference between public and private hospitals are the facilities and technologies offered. Most of the public hospitals would not be equipped to the same standard as the private ones. However, some of the best doctors are serving in the government hospitals. Also, most Filipinos would seek advice from these government hospitals because fees are not charged. Private hospitals are located in key cities throughout the nation and there are also tertiary hospitals that have the latest in medical technologies. However, as you would expect, private hospitals are more expensive.

Emergency in the Philippines

The Philippines have stand-by ambulances for any emergency situation. They also have a hotline number which is available in times of emergencies.

Pharmacies

There are numerous pharmacies in the Philippines that provide medicines which have been approved by the Bureau of Food and Drugs. Most of the standard pharmacies are manned by professional pharmacists that have studied and trained in top medical schools in the country. There are strict guidelines in relation to prescription drugs; while some countries allow their patients to obtain certain drugs without a prescription, the Filipino pharmacists have stringent directives in relation to the sale of such drugs.

Cost of medicines and hospitalisations

Generally speaking, hospitals are not that expensive in the Philippines. Medicines are also affordable; both locals and expatriates will attest to this fact. Additionally, in the Philippines, almost ninety percent of the population can speak and understand English. Communication is never a problem when you are in the Philippines. The people are very hospitable and accommodating, the doctors and medical practitioners are friendly and the place is very inviting.

Overall, the healthcare system in the Philippines is affordable, the doctors are well-trained and the nurses are of a high standard.

Health issues in the Philippines

The Philippines have been struggling with some healthcare issues, one of the most noticeable being illegal drug use. There are a number of Filipinos who are said to be addicted to prohibited drugs. However, the Philippine government has concentrated on this issue and although there are still some recorded incidents of drug abuse, the number of drug dependents has gradually decreased.

Another serious health issue is malnutrition. Unsurprisingly, the poorer citizens are the ones who suffer from this condition. The Philippine government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development and in conjunction with the Department of Health, has initiated projects to help its poorer citizens who suffer from starvation.

Cases of dengue are also notable. However, most of these cases are properly attended to by the Philippine government.