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Healthcare in the Philippines

Yeah, I always wonder now whenever I see someone who has had an arm or leg amputated, if it was really necessary.

I wrote this a while back however still true today.

This may seem like a odd concept to a western society and that goes beyond cruel. 

However I will tell you about our recent experience prior to the birth of our second child.  We went to the hospital emergency room for my wife.  She was running a fever and had been sick for several day. So we get to the emergency room and after about 4 hours they decided to admit her.  I paid the emergency room fees of 5200 pesos ($160.00).  Then per policy they require that I pay 80% of the approximate bill prior to admitting her.  She was 7 months along in her pregnancy and was having contractions.  In addition to running a high fever and low blood iron levels.  They required at 4pm (4 am east cost time) on a Tuesday I pay 30,000 ($750.00 ) pesos to admit her.   Considering I just drew out $200 dollars for the emergency room and my credit limit on my cards was $500.00 this placed me in a situation.  I tried to explain to the hospital that I was unable to draw additional money till noon the next day. I could not call to get my credit limits lifted to draw money out as it was 4am US time.


They knew the fact that they were placing mother and child in danger.  Yet refused to admit them till I had the money to pay prior to service.  Actually told us to leave and come back when you get the money.  They knew she needed a blood transfusion and knew she needed an incubator for the baby.  She also had contractions and 101 fever.  They used this to calculate how much cash I would need to admit her.


I was very lucky friends and family came to my rescue to help with the initial fees and allowed her to be admitted to the hospital.   All was well and the baby was born as scheduled not early.  Yet it should be a warning to all that visit the Philippines.  Hospitals require 80% estimate fees prior to admission.


http://www.timpotter-philippines.com/20 … rvice.html

So far where ever I could travelled in the places of Philippines, I didn't find any much problem in health care areas except very much costly medicines and the medical facilities. Its only affordable for rich people and not at all for the poors including even middle class families.

I wondered that even almost all the vitamins including very basic medicians which are regularly required by almost all category of peoples, are very much costlier than India as well as any of the poor countries also.

In my view, Philippine Govt. must think over on this issue seriously and try to make the medical facilities including medicines much affordable by all poor &  the common men as well as.

This is required highly also because the philippines is prone to storm disasters every year to some or the other extent and many people tend to suffer because of uneffordable medical facilities, services, medicines etc.

Healthcare & Dental care in Philippines is on par quality wise with USA.  The difference is cost.  While Medical insurance may be helpful, especially if you have Military Retirement TriCare or Employer paid/shared coverage but for dental, I prefer to just pay out of pocket.  The cost of coverage along with the list of things they will not cover (many do not cover implants) and large deductables IMHO usually makes dental insurance NOT worth getting.  Most dental procedures including cosmetic, comparatively speaking, are not that expensive. For dental, suggest just keep your money, pay cash.  For Medical, wrt hospitals, I can say that Chong Hua in Cebu quality of care and service is great.  My wife had our son there.  I stayed with her in a suite room from start to finish at the hospital for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room  Because the process was c-section she stayed approx 10 days.  My employer health coverage (Cigna at that time), covered nearly all of the 3000.00 usd hospital and doctor bills by reimbursement.  the only annoyance is every process requires cash or credit card payment up front.  The Doctor's fees were surprisingly very reasonable and she was very engaged throughout the entire pregnancy, delivery , and post delivery.  She also seamlessly handed us off to a very capable pediatrician.  I felt also that there was a very professional and alert nursing staff as well.  Not once did I feel our new born son was neglected. I have nothing but praise (except the minor pay first system annoyance) for our Doctors and the staff at Chong Hua Medical Center in Cebu.  Not sure what the cost of that would be in the USA (possibly 5x as much) but finding the dedication quality and engagement of the doctor and staff was priceless. Hope that helps.  So,,,medical insurance and hospitals in the Philippines, yes...dental insurance, no but facilites a resounding yes but just pay cash. Just my opinion based on my personal experience.  Hope that helps.

I read the post by Timpotte about payments being required up front.  Im glad to hear the friends and family stepped up to help.  This is true and should be carefully noted and panned for by anyone wishing to use Philippines Healthcare.  Most major hospitals do however accept credit and debit cards linked to US banks.  But as it seems cruel, it is not the USA and its a cultural norm in the Philippines for nearly everything to pay up front first.  You pay first and usually in cash, even if you have US health insurance. Most hospitals will not take an insurance card for direct billing.  having said that I have had no issues getting reimbursed for medical procedures and drugs after the fact.  If you can plan for that, then you will be ok.  If not, then I would have to advise, do not plan to use the Philippine healthcare system.  They will not make exceptions to the pay first policy and yes, they will probably let you or your loved one die right there and then require payment first before anyone takes the deceased away.  Cruel maybe, reality yes, with prior planning, no.  Will it change?  Probably not.  Its a different culture.

a few weeks ago i felt realy sick and had a fever on advise of local ppl  in went to a doktor in toril witch was a serious mistake as i realised within a few minutes,he did no examination of me and started to rave about diabetes and how he wanted to go to a frend of him who had a new x ray instalation ,i left cursing him and his frend to hell.then i go to mediquest hospital in toril and got very good care and the right diagnosis ,this costed me les than 1500 php ,the medication costed a little over 3000 php .(german origin)
mediquest in toril i found to be good .
i do noticed that in general the hospital can use  an upgrade on medical equipment ,but i come from Belgium and consider us belgians as a very spoiled ppl in many ways ,we are used of the best of the best and often forget were we coming from as we judge others
thank you doktor Reyes for the good care you gave me.

Philippines is definitely not the United Socialist States of America with its welfare system out of control but the pay for what you get system in place has its merits as you do not have a lot of freeloaders immigrating illegally the country as you do in the USA in the millions.  Milingerers in the USA who fail to pay get bailed out by me and others pissed off taxpayers like me. There is no way that the taxpayers in the Philippines could or should have to endure that scenerio. For that I have to say I admire the country.  I have a real problem paying for all the no loaders and malingerers in the USA so if you cant afford health care in the Philippines, dont come here!  But on the other hand, if you have insurance and can pay up front, when you get sick and need medical care go to a major hospital recognized by International organizations as in SOS.  Google it.  You can also get a list of hospitals online.  If you are in the province and need something major done its your body but recommend go to Cebu or Manila.  Cebu has several world class facilities with GREAT doctors at a fraction of the cost of treatment in other countries.  yes, if you can afford the flight and lodging to go to Thailand, they too have good facilities and doctors, but I have found the same level in the Philippines.  If you get sick in Cebu, recommend you go to Chong Hua.  The service is superior, the Doctors are great, and the cost is a fraction of what it will cost elsewhere in the world.  Yeah the building is a little aged and they are building a new facility in Mandaue but do you really care about the floor and walls as long as they are not falling down? This is not the only facility that has a reputation for good care and doctors.  Cebu Doctors University, and others in this list may also be on par...But personally, in Cebu my wife, my son, and I have only received treatment at Chong Hua and have felt no need to go anywhere else. You can find cheaper in Cebu but really when it comes to health do you want to do that?  The 3 P's (Piss poor planning) when going abroad creates crises for you.  Be prepared with cash reserve if going to the Philippines.  Its a non-welfare, buyer beware country. If you can live with knowing that and plan in advance you are golden. Dont come to the Philippines expecting welfare or cheap cost of living unless you are willing to live in the province and accept the medical facilities they have available.  Also recommend check out this list and get educated about healthcare in Cebu before spouting off nonsense about poor quality healthcare in Cebu: 

http://www.affordablecebu.com/load/dire … 26-1-0-414

While I live in Cebu, I have lived and worked in manila.  Manila also has world class hospitals, excellent doctors and care.  yes many are trained in the USA as are doctors in Cebu and come back to the Philippines to continue or set up new practices.  Who would want to live in the USA over the Philippines right?  Many who have received PHDs in medicine in the Philippines would have to re-attend college in the USA at enormous costs just to get that piece of paper that would qualify them to practice in the USA, so they stay in the Philippines.  Many stay in the Philippines because they like their own country.  I know maybe a hard concept to grasp...

Healthcare costs in America compared to the Philippines, from my experience.

Insurance premium (this was 6 years ago): Blue Cross HMO around $400 / month paid for by employer, which later on I paid from my own pocket when I got terminated. I paid an extra $75 because I wanted it upgraded to PPO. MediCal / MediCaid (don't remember what the amount was) was deducted from my salary. If I wanted a family member covered, I had to pay extra per person.

Co-pay: $25-30 per doctor visit. ER: used to be just $50 but then increased to $100. If I did not have insurance, $300+ / visit. With just MediCal / MediCaid, according to another patient I had a casual conversation with: $120+ / visit.

Prescription for epilepsy: used to be $25, then increased to $50 per refill. Whether I get 150 tablets (the max) or just 60, the price for refill is still the same.  The price of 150 tablets without insurance: around $850 (this was what Walgreens was going to charge while I was in the process of COBRA (changing from employer-paid to personal account). So I just waited for the transition to get done since I had extra prescription for a couple of weeks.

Cost for delivery via C-section at California Pacific Medical Center in SF with insurance: $3600 co-pay. Anaesthesiologist: $900. If I did not have insurance: $32,000. My newborn was covered for the first month only. After that, I added another $450 / month to my insurance premium to have him covered. So, we were paying more than $10k per year. Just 2 months before we left for the Philippines, monthly premium for me an my son went up to $1,080.

In the Philippines:
My family has insurance and PhilHealth through my husband's employer. No premiums, co-pay, fees for tests, or ER fees with the insurance company's accredited doctors and hospitals. PhilHealth deduction from his salary is minimal. There's a limit on coverage on hospital rooms (Private rooms or smaller only). Usually, doctor's fees range from PhP350 to PhP600 if doctor is not accredited.

Prescription for the same medication for epilepsy (not covered by insurance): PhP50 / tablet ( namebrand manufactured by Glaxo-Smith-Kline). (significantly less than the $5.60 / per tablet in the US without insurance).

Prenatal visits: PhP600 (because the doctor was not accredited). Total cost for delivery via C-section, including hospital stay and anaesthesiologist: PhP140k at FEU Hospital. When my son had dengue, the 7-day hospital  stay and doctors' fees including tests at Commonwealth Hospital totaled PhP19k. But since he was covered, we paid PhP99. My husband's 10-day hospital stay for pneumonia: PhP170k. We shelled out PhP19k because there were no available private rooms for the first few days (only large suites which are only partly covered by insurance).

Cost of healthcare is a lot cheaper here. As to quality of service and facilities, CPMC in SF (one of the top 50 hospitals in the US): stellar. Commonwealth and FEU Hospital: sufficient and comfortable. I heard that hospitals like Makati Med and Medical City have very good service quality and facilities, but they are more expensive. But still cheaper than in the US.

Exactly what Im talking about.  Even with insurance in the USA people pay alot with co-pays, and deductables, and we wont even talk about prescription meds unless you are eligible for the military retirement Tri-Care pharmacy program...and that is always subject to being axed since its a US government sponsored / run program.  Only takes the stroke of a pen.  Anyway I hope not, but I dont use it that much in the Philippines since the meds are infinitely cheaper and usually can buy prescription meds without a prescription...but would never do that or recommend doing that of course.  So, when my mother was on Medicaid in the USA, I and my sublings were continually getting bills for meds not covered, and most of her meds were generic.  After using the healthcare system in the Philippines, despite its pay up front requirements, I cannot ever  see going back to using that system in the USA.  Now with the Un-Affordable Healthcare Act that was shoved down the throats of Americans, most families, my siblings' included, saw exponential increases in insurance premiums, higher co-pays, higher deductables, and a decrease in the range of procedures covered, all  to cover increased admin costs and costs of uninsured.  If you are going to bring in millions of aliens to increase the democratic voter base what better way to do it than to give them "free" medical care right?  Sorry no compassion here.  Most Americans are struggling to take care of their own families and dont need the extra burden of taking care of aliens, many of which admittedly are just looking for money and handouts from Uncle Sam's deep TAXPAYER pockets. So anyway after paying $6000+ per year in medical insurance premiums in the USA, the average family still sees very high co-pays, deductables, and extremely high prescription med prices.  You would be hard pressed to spend $6000 per year for medical costs in the philippines, even if your wife had 2 babies in the same year.  And that is just payig out of pocket.  When our son was born at Chong Hua in Cebu, we stayed in a hospital suite for about 10 days.  The total bill for our stay including meds, doctors' visits, c-section delivery, and post natal care  was less than 3000.00 usd.  My employer's insurance plan with Cigna at that time covered about 2800.00.  I think my monthly premiums were about 50.00 usd.  Had we been in the USA for her delivery as her sister just recently delivered her baby there, we would have seen a bill 6-8x that amount and she would have been sent home after 2 days with staples in her stomach.  So as far as I can see, there is no comparison cost wise.  The quality of care is on par or better.  But each person has their own experiences.  Guess we are just blessed :)

The health care system in the PH is totally different then the US. With lower costs comes  lower standards.  Can you obtain quality health care cheaper?  YES,  however it is buyer beware and many times in a third world country money dictates care not the welfare of the patient.    There is no equality of care between a developing country and a 1st world country.   Example the city of Cebu (1 million people)  has only 5 incubators for prenatal births.  My wife went into pre-labor I paid to reserve one just in case.   

Tim

Indeed insurance is a must in the Philippines, especially if you are expat.

Hi,

How much would be the premium for the family?

Regards

Ronnie

ROD  I  ...........
            you are so right i found out the hard way  { i am aussie }
i am not covered by any health care ,and i was taken to a certain hospital in davao city.
with a infection in my right leg and was rushed into surgery for a urgent opperation.
they cut my leg open and then i had a gash 9" long 3" wide then they informed my wife
they were going to take my leg off the surgeon { doctor death lol } said its your life or a limb whats it going to be.
so my wife said to him you are not going to remove the leg and with that he had nothing more
to do with me, so from the very 1st day my wife had to do all the dressings from that moment on,
2 weeks later a doctor came and saw me and said i could go home so we prepared ourself to leave the hospital and went down to billing office to make arrangments to fix up the bill
they told us there was no way we were leaving the hospital till the bill was paid infull.
so we had to return to the room, they had us in a private room. So they kept us there for
a total of 5 wks just like holding us hostage till the bill was paid . i will say the meals were supplyed which i couldnt eat, and the bed linen was changed about 4 times a week.but that was all they would do for me the wife had to do everything for me, i did try to leave once but security blocked me at the door, they even had security checking on my room so i couldnt leave. now after 16mths. i still have a great gaping hole in my leg which looks like it will never heal, he made sure he was going to amputate my leg i am a diabetic type2 but im still alive so look after you health what ever you do
and ill keep soldering on and steer clear of hospitals

Rod, all your wife had to do was call the police and tell them they were holding you against your will which is kidnapping in the Philippines...In fact you could still bring a law suit against them but the lawyers will probably cost you more than the recovery unless you could find one on contingency...I am just curious, how much was the bill...

Hi vetretreat.
the total bill was approx 278000php.
they released us after my family in oz had paid 75%of the total bill and i had to pay the other 25% within 1 mth ..which i am still paying to this day,i told them i can only pay what i can afford.since then.
they have been around to our residence to try to collect ,but only the kids were home,
since then we have relocated. the wife gave them our new address ,and they have been
around here also trying to collect

rod iddles :

Hi vetretreat.
the total bill was approx 278000php.
they released us after my family in oz had paid 75%of the total bill and i had to pay the other 25% within 1 mth ..which i am still paying to this day,i told them i can only pay what i can afford.since then.
they have been around to our residence to try to collect ,but only the kids were home,
since then we have relocated. the wife gave them our new address ,and they have been
around here also trying to collect

UNBELIEVABLE Rod, I take it they charged for the additional days they held you captive...Is that right or not?...If they did charge you I would refuse to pay they rest and state as to why...Threaten a lawsuit for the illegal captivity and they will probably fade away...AS I HAD SAID MANY TIMES BEFORE ON THIS THREAD...MUCH OF THE MEDICAL CARE HERE IS JUST AS CORRUPT AS THEIR ELITIST GOV...How many foreigners as well as affluent Filipinos have been duped by the GREEDY hospitals and various doctors/surgeons...I'm sure there are many good ones out there but I personally think there are a lot more worse ones....How many foreigners have left the country over the years because of this type of treatment and corruption...I know I am going to be one of them very shortly...The country is doomed to be nothing more than a 3rd world nation until the people wake up and realize why the poverty rate is still on the rise and take a firm stance for real change...

Just curious Rod; what medical establishment was this nightmare experience taken place at???

timpotte :

The health care system in the PH is totally different then the US. With lower costs comes  lower standards.  Can you obtain quality health care cheaper?  YES,  however it is buyer beware and many times in a third world country money dictates care not the welfare of the patient.    There is no equality of care between a developing country and a 1st world country.   Example the city of Cebu (1 million people)  has only 5 incubators for prenatal births.  My wife went into pre-labor I paid to reserve one just in case.   

Tim

You mentioned developing country...Right!! It has developed from a 2nd world status to a 3rd world country just in 20 years...If there is such a thing as a 4th world nation this country is surely headed in that direction once the rest of the world realizes investing here is a one way road to disaster....

timpotte :

I wrote this a while back however still true today.

This may seem like a odd concept to a western society and that goes beyond cruel. 

However I will tell you about our recent experience prior to the birth of our second child.  We went to the hospital emergency room for my wife.  She was running a fever and had been sick for several day. So we get to the emergency room and after about 4 hours they decided to admit her.  I paid the emergency room fees of 5200 pesos ($160.00).  Then per policy they require that I pay 80% of the approximate bill prior to admitting her.  She was 7 months along in her pregnancy and was having contractions.  In addition to running a high fever and low blood iron levels.  They required at 4pm (4 am east cost time) on a Tuesday I pay 30,000 ($750.00 ) pesos to admit her.   Considering I just drew out $200 dollars for the emergency room and my credit limit on my cards was $500.00 this placed me in a situation.  I tried to explain to the hospital that I was unable to draw additional money till noon the next day. I could not call to get my credit limits lifted to draw money out as it was 4am US time.


They knew the fact that they were placing mother and child in danger.  Yet refused to admit them till I had the money to pay prior to service.  Actually told us to leave and come back when you get the money.  They knew she needed a blood transfusion and knew she needed an incubator for the baby.  She also had contractions and 101 fever.  They used this to calculate how much cash I would need to admit her.


I was very lucky friends and family came to my rescue to help with the initial fees and allowed her to be admitted to the hospital.   All was well and the baby was born as scheduled not early.  Yet it should be a warning to all that visit the Philippines.  Hospitals require 80% estimate fees prior to admission.


http://www.timpotter-philippines.com/20 … rvice.html

If I would had been in your position I would had immediately taken her to another hospital...

vetretreat.....
yes we were charged for the full time we were there
and it was davao medical school foundation hospital.
i would not reccommend it to anyone

I had my primary care physician here in the US send me to an orthopedic surgeon for an serious skin infection. The surgeon recognized my condition immediately and scheduled me to see the appropriate
type of specialist. My primary care physician was trained in South America. The HMO needs him because they can't find enough doctors in the US due to high insurance costs from malpractice lawsuits. Our care here is questionable at best.

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