How Good Is Healthcare In The Philippines?

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA
By

The quality of foreign healthcare is always a priority for expats planning to retire outside Europe and North America.

Britain, the US and European Union set a high standard for healthcare which is not always matched by other countries.

One popular expat hotspot is The Philippines.

The thousands of islands with endless beaches, blue seas, natural beauty and abundant wildlife are a magnet for many expat contractors who have R&R time between tough shifts with mining, oil and gas companies in other Asia Pacific countries.

Besides the climate and beauty of The Philippines another big attraction is the low cost of living.

The country is also mainly English speaking and is considered to have a good, affordable medical service.

Buying private health insurance

Affordable means not free, and although the costs are much lower than an expat would expect to pay in the USA, taking out some private healthcare insurance is advisable.

Locals have to take out health insurance to cover the cost of treatment, although the government does provide a public health service.

Expats cannot enrol for the government service unless they are dependants of a local, so must buy private health cover.

Expats often view cover offered by their employers as enough to cover medical costs, but because The Philippines is a stopover rather than a workplace destination, a lot of expats may discover they have no insurance when they go to make a claim.

Also, employer health cover is just that and if an expat has ended an assignment or has to leave the contract due to sickness or injury, the policy is unlikely to pay out.

Coping with medical emergencies

Topping up the employer policy with personal private insurance gives security and peace of mind if a medical emergency does arise.

Generally, the quality of care in The Philippines is good. Many doctors and nurses have trained in the USA and work in modern, well-equipped hospitals and clinics.

Even the remotest islands are close to good medical facilities thanks to a network of air routes criss-crossing the country. At worst, however remote the island, doctors are less than 60 minutes away.

However, although medical staff are well-trained, because many can earn more money working abroad, many hospitals suffer staff shortages.

As belt and braces cover, expats often take out private health cover in The Philippines that includes medical evacuation to Singapore, Thailand or Malaysia.

Get Healthcare Advice

It is recommend that you speak to a international financial adviser that understands your position as an expat living in The Philippines, to speak to an adviser complete the Get Advice form here.

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