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Philippines ranks 8th in world as Medical Tourism Destination

In 2015, the Philippines was ranked 8th among the top medical tourism destinations in
the world, ahead of countries such as Japan and France, according to a list compiled by the
International Healthcare Research Center and the Medical Tourism Association (MTA), a global
non-profit association for medical tourism and international patient industry which represents
healthcare providers, governments, insurance companies, employers and other buyers of
According to the MTA index, Canada emerged as the top medical tourism destination
worldwide, providing the most suitable economical, secure and cultural environment, and an
acceptable healthcare cost. The UK and Israel came second and third, respectively. Singapore
ranked 4th, ahead of Costa Rica (5th), Italy (6th), and Germany (7th).
Clients of the Philippines for medical tourism come from East Asia (China, Japan,
Korea, Taiwan), Sri Lanka, the Pacific Islands (Guam, Palau, Marshall Islands, and Micronesia),
Australia, North and South America, Europe and the United Kingdom, and the Gulf States.
Filipino expats and overseas Filipino workers likewise prefer to have their medical procedures
done in the country.
The Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Health (DOH) and Department of
Trade and Industry Board of Investments (DTIBOI) have a joint programme to promote
Philippine medical tourism. This informal partnership resulted in a roadmap that identified five
major segments in the international medical travel sector: tourists, who come for spa and other
wellness services; medical tourists, who avail of low-acuity medical procedures; medical
travelers, who purposely come to specifically avail of more complex procedures; international
patients, including overseas Filipino workers, expats, and retireers; and accompanying guests,
either friends or immediate kin of travelers.
To date, medical tourism in the Philippines caters to approximately 80,000 to 250,000
patients or clients annually. As of the DOT, DOH, DTI-BOIs latest count, 62 hospitals around
the country are now internationally accredited. To date, five Philippine medical institutions,
namely Asian Hospital and Medical Center (Muntinlupa City), Makati Medical Center (Makati
City), St. Lukes Medical Center (Global City and Quezon City), and The Medical City (Pasig
City) have been certified as institutions for excellent medical care by the Joint Commission

DOT Media Release


International (JCI), the only patient safety and quality healthcare accreditation and certification
body with membership in more than 100 countries worldwide. JCI accreditation is both intensive
and extensive in its standards, and assessment is comprehensive, thus ensuring that a hospital
with the JCI seal can provide the care that medical tourists require.
In a 2014 study by renowned medical tourism author Ian Youngman, global health and
wellness tourism market is worth US$438.6 billion. And Philippine medical tourism was able to
generate US$66 million and US$145 million for 2013 and 2014, respectively. Among the factors
cited in the survey include competitive price of health and wellness services, the warm
hospitality and compassion that Filipinos are known for, high standards of healthcare provided
in internationally-accredited hospitals by well-educated and English-speaking healthcare
professionals. The countrys proximity to major international hubs and its tropical climate are
also a boon to medical travelers, encouraging healing and relaxation after medical procedures.
DOT Director for Medical Travel and Wellness Tourism, Cynthia Lazo, said it is crucial to
have a One Country Package. It has to be a country effort, a collective effort of every medical
and wellness facility in the country, for the Philippines to be accepted in the medical and
wellness market, she said, citing it as the game changer in Philippine medical tourism.
Our value proposition is, time and again, our 7,107 islands which a medical traveler can
choose from, while availing of a clinical or wellness procedure in the country, Director Lazo
expounded, citing Cebu-Bohol package which identifies the former for medical and the latter for
According to Director Lazo, the Philippine medical and wellness tourism market
opportunities come from the United States of America/Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Middle
East, Europe, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Fiji, and other short-haul markets. The DOT has
also been gathering market intelligence that would enable Philippine medical and wellness
facilities tap potential markets such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Qatar, Ethiopia, and Argentina.


Director Jazmin C. Esguerra

Media & Communications Services
Department of Tourism

PHOTOS by: DOT-Medical Travel and Wellness Tourism

Please see e-mail attachments.

DOT Media Release