Expat Healthcare Advice for Bontoc, Mountain Province
I live in a rural area of the Philippines, and I have found the provincial and municipal hospitals to be of excellent quality for all my ordinary health care needs.
Emergency Medical Care in Bontoc, Mountain Province
Emergency/outpatient care is available 24/7. I seldom have to wait much for care. For an emergency requiring any sort of high-tech equipment, we would have to be transported to Baguio City, a six-hour drive. However, the human, professional care here is very high quality.
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Quality of Healthcare in Surrounding Area
We go to Baguio City, where there is a wealth of choices, public, private, and medical school hospitals. My husband had surgery in Baguio City and received great care, both from the doctors and the nurses and other care providers.
Until recently, pharmacies have been willing to sell prescription drugs without prescriptions, but the government is trying to end this practice and educate people about the importance of getting prescriptions. They are also trying to curb overuse of antibiotics, and these are now difficult to get without persuading a doctor you need a prescription.
My husband spends USD 40-50 per month for four blood pressure medications, including Amlodepine and Simvastatin. One consequence of the low cost of medications may be some tendency to over-prescribe.
Expat Health Insurance in Philippines
We do not have health insurance, except for PhilHealth through my husband's work. It pays for hospital stays, but there are a lot of out-of-pocket costs. However, these are not high - we are fortunate in that we have not needed any kind of major medical treatments. Something like advanced-stage cancer would have to be handled in Manila and would cost us in the realm of USD 5000 - 10,000, I'd estimate.
Primary health care, like bandaging of wounds, bronchitis, and the like is free to all comers.