Expat Healthcare Advice
If you can afford it, get health insurance, but the rates are higher the older you are, and if your over 60 they go through the roof, that's if they will insure you.
Be aware that many doctors here, who will charge you in excess of the regular charge as a "skin tax" as we are perceived to be able to afford it.
Also hospitals will add on extra's not necessary, ie, they always insist on a drip, but it only contains saline solution.
Extras like artificial limbs are difficult to have maintained here, its only in Manila or Cebu where there are facilities to have these repaired or replaced, but the quality and expertise is poorer, usually using 2nd hand appliances from abroad. In Manila there is a private house where European standards are maintained, but it is the most expensive you will encounter.
Emergency Medical Care
Local Emergency hospitals are normally for maternity so no xray's just a bed and a couple of nurse. Broken arms etc are transferred to nearest public hospital, but their conditions are very, very 3rd world and you could wait for hours to be attended. Also you must have cash up front before anything is done ie, xrays etc.
Private hospitals are faster and better conditions, but are expensive, and again cash or credit card is necessary up front.
You will not be allowed to leave the hospital until full payment is made. Locals can leave after signing promissory notes. This is breaking the law, but hospitals still carry on this practice regardless.
Also doctors here carry drugs given by reps' they will sell you these, and also try to sell drugs that are not available from the drugs store. These are expensive, and I suspect some are ersatz.
If you are unfortunate to be involved in an accident, they will send you to the nearest hospital, if you are not coherent, they will not treat you until a family member comes up with the payment details. You could die while waiting, but that is not their concern.
The doctors Hippocratic oath only applies in the Philippines if you can pay for the services, doctors says they did this as its an investment to a comfortable life. The standards of their training is not so good either, that's why when they go abroad to work its usually as nurses, but only after they did some retraining.
Expat Health Insurance in Philippines
As an expat, health insurance is an important consideration. Take a minute to get a quote from our expat health insurance partner, Integra Global.
Quality of Healthcare in Surrounding Area
This would normally be in private hospitals in Manila, where charges are double from the local hospitals. Some of these hospitals are American style, but have astronomic bills to match. Again their practice is to load the bill. The doctors always try to refer other doctors to see you, again all this is chargeable to you. Payment upfront is required -- even when you are involved in an accident, sent to the ER and incoherent. They will wait for your family to arrive with cash or a credit card regardless of your condition.
Common prescription drugs are available in a number of chemists, but cheaper is generics small stores, but these do not stock everything but the most common, but are located everywhere.
Mercury Drug is country wide, and have the largest stocks, but their prices are higher.
As an expat in Philippines, health insurance is an important consideration. Take a minute to get a quote from our expat health insurance partner, Integra Global.