Philippines: Medical Tourism Potentials Eyed
|bworldonline.com- “The Tourism and Health departments are working on a medical tourism program. We are trying to see which are areas or services we can offer and where we can excel,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. in an interview after the Philippine Economic Briefing on Wednesday.
He added that, based on studies, there is “tremendous demand for areas like orthodontology, dentistry, cancer treatment and retirement.”
The department said on Feb. 6 that it is targeting 5.5 million foreign tourists this year.
For local tourism, the department is targeting 56 million. Tourism accounted for 7 percent of the country’s economy last year and the Tourism department hopes to increase that to 11 percent by 2016.
It is targeting 44 million domestic trips by 2016.
Already there are foreign firms interested in possibly setting up medical facilities in the country that will cater to local patients and international tourists.
Indian firm DM Healthcare LLC said on Feb. 12 that it is looking at the business potential of the Philippines.
“Bringing in foreign investments is the next step in medical tourism. We have sent some of our healthcare professionals, and then we enticed foreign patients here so investments are the next step,” said Joyce Socao-Alumno, country representative of DM Healthcare in the Philippines.