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Updated 3 months ago

The Philippines consists of more than 7,600 islands. Bearing that in mind, health care services are available almost everywhere, although these do not usually meet Western standards. You are advised to seek information regarding required vaccination and other conditions to be fulfilled before traveling to this region.

Health care system

The Department of Health (DOH) is the country’s main authority on health in the Philippines. Their four main sources of health financing include the national and local government, government and private insurance, user out-of-pocket fees, and donors. Local health care system is close to the average, which is rather fair compared to many Asian countries. To obtain health care services, you can visit the following top hospitals in the country:

  • Manila Doctor’s Hospital (Manila);
  • Philippine General Hospital (Manila);
  • Davao Medical School Foundation (Davao City);
  • The Medical City (Pasig);
  • Asian Hospital and Medical Center (Alabang);
  • Makati Medical Center;
  • St. Luke's Medical Center (Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City); and
  • Chong hua Hospital (Cebu City).

A think tank based in the Netherlands included St. Luke’s Medical Centers in Metro Manila in its list of 20 best hospitals in the world in 2014.

 Good to know:

The National Health Facility Registry is a useful site containing a master list of all health facilities in the Philippines.

Doctors

Many Filipino doctors have been trained in US medical schools. Some of them even began their careers in the United States before moving to the Philippines to serve their fellow citizens. Others were trained in the best Philippine universities and medical schools. The same applies to nurses.

Medication

You are not likely to get medication without a prescription in the Philippines, even if you are a foreigner. In fact, local laws are very strict in this regard. Besides their quality service and level, you will not be able to force pharmacists to sell medication to you without prescription. However, medication prices are affordable. Note that you can find pharmacies almost everywhere in the country. You should be able to communicate with the pharmacists pretty easily if you speak English.

Health insurance

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) is the administrator of the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) in the country. All employees in the Philippines, including foreigners, are eligible to the PhilHealth. Employers and employees, as well as local and national government subsidies finance this insurance system. The employee and employer will equally share the monthly contribution rate of 2.75% (as from January 2018). There are a salary floor and ceiling of Php10,000 and Php40,000, respectively.

Good to know:

According to PhilHealth, they cover 93% of the population as of December 2017 with a support value of 55%.

Refunds

PhilHealth generally makes refunds within 60 days following the request. However, according to the latest regulations, it is required to refund 75% of the amount immediately and the rest once the application is processed.

To date, PhilHealth has satisfied 90% of all claims within the 60 days period. The remaining 10% represent requests made by patients themselves or health care providers such as hospitals.

Health risks

When moving to the Philippines, you should take into account health risks to which you might be exposed such as dengue, malaria, typhoid, cholera, leptospirosis, rabies, etc. To better protect yourself, make sure to update your vaccines before traveling.

 Useful links:

Ministry of Health
Philhealth
National Health Facility Registry
The Filipinodoctor

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.