Freeman Cebu Business

Medical tourism remains an untapped ‘gold mine’

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The medical tourism market could be a real gold mine for the Philippines, if only the country would take developing needed infrastructure and retaining good medical practitioners seriously.

Analyst David Leechiu said government authorities and medical institutions should give extra attention on maximizing the potential of the medical tourism industry.

Unfortunately, despite the high potential of the Philippines to attract the affluent ageing market from cold countries such as Japan, United States and Europe, the country’s hospitals in general are yet to employ world-class, sophisticated facilities.

He mentioned that as of this moment, the emergency rooms in some hospitals are not yet at par with international standards, or not attractive to the sophisticated medical tourists.

“We cannot even provide proper medical care to our people,” he explained why the Philippines still lags behind in attracting medical tourists.

But if given the right and world-class facilities, the Philippines could become the number one medical tourism destination in the world, especially because Filipinos are known for its nurturing and caring nature.

Moreover, he said what’s the Philippine’s main come-on in medical tourism is its world-class medical professionals like nurses, doctors, and others who have carved a good reputation in the medical field across the world.

Keeping the good medical professionals here is a good plus to attract medical tourists.

Compared to other wealth-producing industry, it is easier for us to train people into medical professionals, he said.

Cebu in particular is blessed with an ocean view, tropical resort setting, a good plus factor to attract not just medical tourists, but also those who may decide to retire here.

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