Medtourism development needs support from LGUs
- Ehda Dagooc (The Philippine Star) - August 9, 2012 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - While the national government is aggressively moving towards developing the country’s medical tourism potential, this initiative should be complemented with local government units (LGUs) ordinances to identify their respective strengths in accommodating the growing tourists seeking medical and wellness services outside of their countries.This according to Tourism development prime mover Bobby Lim Joseph following the announcement of the government to further push the Medical Tourism advantage of the Philippines, primarily led by the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Joseph said LGUs all across the Philippines should now start to develop their own masterplan, supported by ordinances that will push the development of medical tourism.

Joseph, who is also the chairman of the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (Naitas) said that there is a need for the Philippines to push for the establishment of more retirement facilities, and this can be accelerated by calling both national and local governments to formulate attractive retirement programs, thereby attracting both retirement village facility investors and foreign retirees.

Likewise, Lim also urged the private sector stakeholders to partner closely with the government, and together identify the strength of their respective cities and provinces, which areas are fit to develop as medical tourism zone.

Incentives and other perks should be developed, aside from setting up the infrastructure and promotional efforts, he said.

Earlier, the government said that the Philippines will position as a premier medical tourism destination, and will not depend on the volume of foreign clients, but will largely depend on the Filipinos working and residing abroad.

Unlike other countries, the Philippines has its natural market. It is not relying on foreign patients, because the source of constant and sustainable growth for the industry is the OFWs, or the Filipinos residing and working abroad, an official of the DOH said in an earlier interview with The Freeman.

DOH said regardless if foreigners come in the Philippines or not to seek medical help, the medical tourism industry here will still grow “because we have growing OFWs, who prefer to get medical attention in their home land.

If foreigners find it very expensive to avail of medical care in their own countries, how much more the Filipinos working abroad, “they are the first to come, and they are our ‘captured’ market for medical tourism.”

In Asia, medical tourism has raked US$120 billion in revenues for 2006, a big improvement from US$40 billion it earned in 2000. India is now the number one destination for medical tourists around the world.

Total package for one medical tourist, is pegged at US$28,000, depending on medical procedure, this already include accommodation, vacation package among others.

Every medical tourist can save at least US$77,000 for this amount, if they were to have their medical services done in other countries like Europe or United States.

BOBBY LIM JOSEPH DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY IN ASIA MEDICAL MEDICAL TOURISM NAITAS NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT TRAVEL AGENCIES TOURISM UNITED STATES
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with