Philippines

Information for patients: 

The health care system in Philippines has been changing for 20 years as the government has instituted various reforms and policies to provide easy access to health benefits for every Filipino. Healthcare varies with public, private and barangay health centres, but most hospitals provide efficient and affordable health services. Private hospitals generally have better technical facilities, and therefore, better quality service.

The medical care is free for All Filipinos as they are covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation introduced in 2017. The health insurance scheme is funded through subsidies and contributions from workers. The government continues to develop a universal health care system to provide comprehensive health care and insurance for all Filipinos [1].

Information for health care professionals:

There are two types of permits: special temporary permit and temporary training permit. Both permits valid up to 1 year and renewable. For special temporary permit, most updated certification is required for both GP and specialists. Specialists must have a certificate of specialisation validated by the PMRA of the country of origin. Other requirements are varies depending on purpose, scope and duration of practice. Temporary training permit for resident and fellowship training requires approved requirements by PRC board of medicine, and authenticated certification of updated licensure from country of origin [2].

The main language of instruction is English. The top demand specialists in Philippines are Cardiology, Pulmonology, Oncology, Nephrology and Neurology [3].

Information for travellers: 

Philippines is one of the competitive medical tourism destinations in Asia. However, compared to Singapore and Thailand, Philippines has limited direct access and lack of infrastructure [4]. The medical tourism in Philippines is around 80,000-250,000 tourists annually according to SunStar CEBU reports [5]. Patients come from Sri Lanka, East Asia, the Gulf States, Europe, North and South America, the Pacific Islands, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

The Philippines is home to a few different mosquito-borne diseases. Travellers should consider Japanese encephalitis vaccination and antimalarials for some popular regions of the country. [6]

The official language in the Philippines is Filipino. Most doctors are also fluent in English as well as Filipino because Philippines is the third largest English-speaking country in the world.

Link to Ministry of Health website: https://www.doh.gov.ph/

References:
[1] https://www.manilatimes.net/2018/04/26/supplements/at-a-glance-the-philippine-health-care-system/395117/
[2] https://asean.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Registration-Requirement-for-Foreign-MP-Updated-AJCCM-22For-Publicati....pdf
[3] https://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/10-most-in-demand-doctor-specialties-in-philippines-593321/
[4] https://www.imtj.com/news/why-medical-tourism-not-taking-philippines/
[5] https://www.medicaltourismmag.com/article/philippines-medical-tourism-destination
[6] https://www.passporthealthglobal.com/ca/destination-advice/philippines/