Discover the Philippines: Go for the Islands and Stay for the Doctors
There are more than 7,000 reasons why you should take your next trip to the Philippines – that’s how many islands this marvelous archipelago has. Situated at the eastern edge of Asia, the Philippines impresses through perfect beaches, friendly locals, and a remarkable history.
You can get a once-in-a-lifetime experience that includes a bit of everything. You can walk through heritage monuments, discover rainforests and mountains, and even dive into clear blue waters. On top of that, the Philippines’ medical tourism sector is booming, a detail you should also know about.
When you step on one of the Philippines’ islands, you can meet both friendly locals and indigenous tribe members. You’ll notice a mix of charming Asian, European, and American cultural heritages. The country has a remarkable tourism industry which, in 2017, peaked at over 6 billion foreign arrivals.
Given such a delight, you might not want to miss out a single day because of a surprise toothache.
What Makes the Philippines Unique
What crosses your mind when thinking about the Philippines? Probably, it’s the country’s capital – Manila. If you’re a traveling enthusiast, you might also know about some favorite tourist destinations such as Palawan, Davao, or Cebu. These will take days to visit and a minor health issue like a toothache could definitely kill the mood. Fortunately, the Philippines is one of the top 10 dental tourism destinations, which means you are in good hands. Even if the last place you had planned to visit in this country during a vacation would be the dentist’s office, you should know this about the place.
The Philippines also stands out from other Asian countries through its numerous tourism-related titles, such as:
- “The Traditional Capital of the World’s Festivities;”
- “The Capital of Western Pacific;”
- “Pearl of the Orient Seas;”
- “Center of Hispanic Asia;”
- “Center of the Coral Triangle.”
Thanks to a successful campaign conducted by local authorities in 2015, the country is also the capital of fun. The Philippines is also a biodiversity hotspot as it has some of the world’s greatest concentrations of endemic bird species, mammals, and flora.
The coolest months in the Philippines start in November and end in late February. This is also the best time to visit the country, according to the local Department of Tourism.
While being an attractive destination for services, the Philippines’ medical care services to tourists stand out. This is one of the aspects you should consider if you want your journey safe and pleasing.
An Outline of Medical Tourism in the Philippines
You can trust local practitioners when it comes to emergencies and one-time treatments. Dental tourism in the Philippines is flourishing. There are developed clinics which offer high-quality services, well-experienced dentists, and use modern technology at affordable pricing. Here’s a comparison with the American market:
- Dental crowns: $230, while on the American market they cost $1,160.
- Implants: $1,800, while in the USA they cost $3,900.
- Fillings: $30, compared with the American price of $155.
Clinics in large cities such as Manila provide services that include general and children’s dentistry, endodontics, oral surgery, and periodontics. Technology is available in dental practices thanks to regular state investments in continuing education and advanced, up-to-date treatment options.
Most dental care specialists are affiliated to the American Dental Association and the International Congress of Oral Implantology. As tourists put it, if you get wrong treatments from the Philippines’ medical tourism, it means that you’re simply unlucky.
Essential Questions to Ask Local Practitioners
Does the Clinic Own an In-House Lab?
You’re a tourist with a limited amount of time to spend on the islands.
Therefore, a clinic with a high-quality laboratory can offer you treatments that are even quicker to obtain than those back home.
Do the Dentists Speak English?
Of course, English is the primary official language spoken there. Almost everyone knows and uses English when talking to tourists. You shouldn’t have trouble understanding your Filipino dentist. However, the country also has Spanish influences.
You might not be fond of meeting a specialist who only knows basic English. Actually, such a dentist might not be an experienced or quality practitioner.
Do You Offer Additional Services?
Some clinics offer tourist packages which include free hotel and pickup and drop-off options along with nice discounts on the treatment.
This option goes well if you undergo a treatment you cannot stop during your vacation.
Are You Part of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)?
The PRC is the authority which registers and regulates dentistry in the Philippines.
Such a confirmation guarantees a high-quality service.
What If Something Just Doesn’t Go Well?
Most clinics across the Philippines come with treatment warranties for their work and lab results.
If you’re encountering issues, you can contact local authorities who can advocate for you when negotiating with clinics.
Can You Use Debit Cards?
You’re in a foreign country, so cash is the universally accepted payment method. However, most clinics also take checks and credit and debit cards.
The method is up to your clinic of choice. Most card payments imply a 3% – 4% fee.
Can You Bill the Insurance Company?
If your regular insurance provider allows out-of-network health care, you may file a claim upon arrival. This is a piece of information you should verify before you leave for the Philippines to know what documentation you need to bring back home.
Some US patients can claim medical expenses on their taxes for the treatment, accommodation costs, and travel price.
Benefitting from the Philippines Medical Tourism Sector
The Philippines has a lot to offer. Authorities are aware of the advantages that flawless tourist services can bring to the local budget. That’s why they decided to invest and build high-quality dental and overall health care services.
If the Philippines’ medical tourism sounds tempting, you might find that you’re not the only American who takes dental care abroad. The low prices of some high-tech clinics overseas have attracted many Americans who want to undergo treatments while being on vacation. Even more, some international travelers got rid of their fear to visit a local dentist in case of an emergency.
Feel free to discover what makes the Philippines stand out!
About The Author: Ethel Huizar is a Dental Hygienist and a Co-Founder at HealthRow. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Colorado. While exploring health-related topics, writing and doing research, she aims to inform her readers about the number of ways to lead healthier lives.