Medical Assistance in the Philippines

Medical Assistance in the Philippines

The Philippines is one of the Asian cities with a rapidly growing rate of population. The locals are increasing, and the favorable conditions of the country also attract more expats, which also increases the population. With this, one of the most challenging areas is in the healthcare sector. The ratio of people to healthcare providers is too high, and the lack of proper health care systems doesn’t help the situation. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get appropriate medical attention should you need it. There are still some great institutions in the public and private healthcare sector that will give you the relief you need.

Whether you plan to visit the Philippines for a short time or move there permanently, you still have to know the right measures to take to gain access to the best medical assistance. The fact that the Philippines is a tropical country this has always helped with the healthcare situation because diseases are rare. You still have to prepare by getting vaccinations before you travel. Vaccines against some diseases like hepatitis B, typhoid, and tetanus can help keep you safe. Knowing the prevalence of some illness in the areas you plan to visit can also help you with preparedness. For instance, if you’re going to the island of Palawan, then you must be well equipped for malaria attacks.

Medical Assistance in the Philippines

Getting medical assistance in the Philippines will also be easier if you understand the options you have. For those who are wondering, “if I get sick in the Philippines, where can I see a doctor?” these options will be of great help.

Public health systems

The Philippines recently got universal healthcare systems that improved the way local citizens access medical treatment. The struggle to get equal healthcare assistance continues, especially in rural areas. This has continued to create a gap between those who can afford to pay for medical help. And those who can’t. That has resulted in significant differences between the healthcare available in the villages. And also the ones available in the city. However, this does not affect the qualifications of the medical staff. Those who practice medicine in the Philippines are adequately trained and highly qualified to provide those services.

Private health systems

The private healthcare system is continuously improving to cover the gap left in the public sector. Private hospitals are usually more equipped and staffed, something that helps with service delivery. They cost more than what is charged in the public health care sector, but the amount is still affordable when compared to what such health care systems cost in the US. This is one of the factors believed to contribute to why most expats prefer to settle in the Philippines.

The health care system in the Philippines has a fair share of advantages and disadvantages, but the latter shouldn’t prevent you from getting the best medical care. Expats in the region always have access to good medical services, especially when you can pay for them. One of the factors that will increase your chances of getting medical assistance in the Philippines is choosing the best place to live. The area you decide to live in will determine whether you’ll be able to get to hospitals in time and increase the convenience with which you access the medical services. can help you get some great condos and apartments in the main cities like Manila to help you stay closer to medical services.


Pharmacies play a significant role in the health care system in the Philippines. Most people, especially those who don’t trust the services provided by the government and also can’t afford to seek help from the private health sector, turn to the pharmacies. The state usually implements guidelines that the pharmacists have to abide by to ensure efficient and professional service delivery to the public. Through this, people will be able to get high-quality drugs with the correct prescriptions. Even though the pharmaceutical sector is very advanced in the country, you may not be able to find some medicine, especially if you have special medical conditions.

Medical emergencies

Although having all the relevant information regarding when to get different types of medical services and the location of various facilities can help you get help in case of emergencies, you can also turn to the US embassy in the Philippines for help. Sometimes unexpected situations happen, especially when related to accidents. You may need extensive medical care as soon as possible but not know the ideal places to get them, in which case the consulate can help you find the closest hospitals in your location.

Tips to consider

Since you never know when an emergency may occur, you should always have your funds readily available in case you need to use them to pay for medical bills. In case you can’t transfer the funds quickly, you can ask for help from the consulate. However, the embassy will not foot your bills. They will only facilitate how you get your funds and even help you get in touch with your family members in case you traveled to the Philippines alone.
You should always travel with your passport wherever you go to make your identification easier in case of a medical emergency. Try to include contact information of your next of kin to increase your chances of getting back home safely.

Practicing safety measures such as getting vaccinations and sleeping under mosquito nets can also help you avoid having to deal with medical situations. The main concern when it comes to potential diseases is usually with illnesses that can be transferred by mosquitoes. Examples include dengue fever, mosquitoes, Japanese encephalitis, and chikungunya virus. These can be avoided by applying insect repellent oils and sleeping under mosquito nets.

Preexisting conditions

If you’re traveling alone and you have a preexisting medical condition, you should have a certificate with you to reduce the chances of misdiagnosis or delayed services when you need them. Make sure you also have a list of the drugs you’re using in detail, including details about their generic names. If you have a psychiatric conditions before and you want to travel to the Philippines, you also have to have a certificate from your psychiatrist back home.

How much does it cost to see a doctor in Manila?

While the exact rates may depend on every healthcare institution, the average costs are affordable for expats. You will have to pay the medical care fees in the local currency, something that can be challenging because the currency exchange rates keep changing. You will still be able to use the average costs to get an accurate estimate. If you must see a health care service provider because of an emergency, then you’ll spend an average of 2,500 pesos for one visit. Doctors’ appointments, on the other hand, will cost you approximately 500 pesos.

For those who have been asking how much does it cost to see a doctor in the Philippines. Then the answer is, you will not spend more than $100 on every visit. You have to remember that the kind of services you seek will determine the price. Those who require special medical attention will end up spending more than those who go in for regular checkups. For instance, if you have a preexisting condition, you will have to see a specialist who will charge you more. However, if you go in to see a general practitioner, the rates may not be as high. Whichever the case, just make sure that the professional you see is qualified to offer those services.

One of the best ways of finding a good hospital for your specific medical situation is by asking for referrals. Filipino people are amicable and will often give you good advice and honest referrals. However, because of the potential language barriers, you may want to start with online platforms. Look for forums that have Filipino communities and find out what you can about the best hospitals they have. Remember to practice some skepticism when reading the reviews because chances of exaggeration are always there. At the same time, avoid choosing a healthcare institution that has only good positive reviews or negative ones. There are still people who will not be satisfied with service provision, but if that number is too high, then that hospital may not be of much help to you. Hospitals with only positive reviews could also be faking those reviews, which means you should be cautious.

Are there any good Hospitals in the Philippines?

For many expats and tourists, “are there any good hospitals in the Philippines?” is a valid question that often comes up due to concern about personal health. The answer is yes. There are many good hospitals with excellent services that local people can barely afford. Given the fact that the charges are in the local currency, you should be able to pay for them easily. The private sector hospitals are usually the most expensive, but you can also get some good public hospitals in the major cities, especially in Manila.

St. Luke’s Medical Center

St. Luke’s has gained a lot of popularity over the world as one of the best hospitals for different types of services. The hospital has various branches in the Philippines at the Quezon city and the Global City. Both of them have state of the art equipment that is used in diagnosis and treatment. Both branches are also known to be very expensive in the Philippines, but the kind of service they provide ensures value for money. These are some of the best hospital options for expats.

Asian Hospital and Medical Center

This hospital has been gaining a reputation as one of the best since it was founded in 2002. It has a great ambiance that makes you comfortable ad is also one of the hospitals considered to be high end. With a capacity of over 280 beds and an equally high number of highly trained medical professionals, you will get the best medical attention in this hospital. They are also believed to practice high standards of medicine that can only be compared to international standards.

Philippine General Hospital

Also known as MakatiMed, this is another good hospital with high international standards. They have a more than 600-bed capacity, which also makes them one of the largest hospitals in the country. The hospital has gained recognition from international bodies such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF as one of the best, especially in mother-child care services.

Cardinal Santos Medical Center

Being controlled by the same body that regulates the Makati Medical Center, this hospital has the same high standards as the latter. It has a smaller capacity of 235 beds, which mostly caters to wealthy people, but they also provide services for those who are not rich. The hospital was previously known as St. Paul’s Hospital of Manila, but the name was changed to honor Archbishop Rufino Cardinal Santos.

How to choose the best hospital

These are just a few examples of a few good hospitals, but you can also find other good ones closer to where you’re staying. Just narrow down your search based on location to make it easier. You can also consider the following factors to choose the best hospital.

The Type

The first step is finding out whether the health care facility is a hospital or a clinic. Hospitals usually have more extensive services, which are typically offered 24 hours. They diagnose, treat, and care for all those who are suffering from all times of diseases. Clinics, on the other hand, offer limited services, usually during the day only. If you need a mild checkup, you can visit your nearest clinic, but if you think you need more services, you will have to go to a hospital.

After determining the types, you also need to understand the different classifications of the hospitals. Level 1 hospitals are usually the most basic with the ability to offer minor services, while higher-level hospitals are generally bigger and often used as referral hospitals. For instance, a level 3 hospital will have specialized treatment programs like dialysis, which means that if you have a preexisting special condition, those will be the ideal option for you.


While the number of staff matters, the quality of services they provide is also outstanding. Most government hospitals and high-level private hospitals only hire staff that has been highly trained in the provision of medical services as well as handling of different patient’s needs.

Can a foreigner get health insurance in the Philippines?

Can a foreigner get health insurance in the Philippines is a question that most people struggle with. While it is possible to get insurance, you have to choose wisely by reading and understanding the requirements and guidelines for different insurance covers. For instance, you can only apply for government insurance, which is known as PhilHealth, if you’re married to a Filipino. PhilHealth is an insurance cover geared towards getting people universal health care, which means that it is the most affordable insurance options. The insurance cover is for Philippine citizens, whether they are employed or unemployed, and it covers all medical expenses, including surgeries.

Expats who live or work in the Philippines can gain also access insurance. Other medical insurance options for expats include:

  • Premier health which provides high-quality medical insurance covers globally. You can this cover in the US and continue to use it when you travel to other countries like the Philippines.
  • IMG is another insurance plan that is a great option for global nomads. Apart from providing medical insurance, the plans are also available in other areas such as travel insurance.
  • GeoBlue which is perfect for US expats living abroad including the Philippines. With this plan, you can choose your doctors or where to get the treatment, something that will make you more comfortable.
  • Cigna global plan is a great option if you don’t have a corporate insurance cover. They have a wide arrange of services, including evacuation services and travel insurance.

When choosing an insurance plan, you need to consider several factors that include the premiums and how long you will need the insurance. Most of the expat insurance plans providers usually give you the cover for two years, but the prices will differ. Some of them will consider the risk factors involved and charge high premiums, but the average cost is $50 every month. Some may charge as high as $1000 for comprehensive services, but you should still weight the services you’ll be getting and the amount to ensure you’re reaping benefits. Choose an insurance cover that works with multiple hospitals to increase your chances of getting medical services without hitches.

Thank you so much for visiting, and we hope to see you back soon.  Whether you’re here to find information on the best condos for rent or lease in the Philippines, or if you’re just here to do some research before your next trip to the beautiful islands of the Philippines, please pay us a visit at

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