The level of per capita healthcare in the Philippines is one of the lowest of all South East Asia’s major economies. However, the Philippine government is committed to improving this standard and over recent years has made some significant inroads in addressing this inequity.
Healthcare in the Philippines is variable, ranging in quality from excellent to dire. If you live in and around cities, then the level of healthcare is generally of a high standard, while many rural area facilities lack infrastructure, technology, and trained medical staff.
Despite these challenges, expats are generally able to access good, affordable healthcare, so long as they live in or around major regional centres, or are willing to travel to major regional centres.
As with many SE Asian countries, the Philippines offers both a public and private healthcare system. As far as healthcare costs are concerned, expats consider both services to be very affordable.
Communication is not a problem with nearly all medical staff are able to speak and understand English.
The main different between public and private hospitals is the facilities and technologies offered. Most of the public hospitals will not be equipped to the same standard as private hospitals however, unless there is a major medical emergency, the public hospital system will be adequate and the most cost effective solution should you be on a budget.
Approximately 60 percent of the Philippines hospitals are privately operated, so private healthcare is widely available in major areas. The treatment in private hospitals is excellent and whilst expensive by local standards, the cost of treatment is cheap compared to western standards.
If you do not have international private health insurance, you will be asked to pay a deposit on admission to the private hospital service.
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Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth)
Philhealth is the national government operated health insurance scheme. Also open to resident expats, this service provides the cheapest health insurance for expats for services provided by any government hospital.
Philhealth provides both inpatient and outpatient cover and reimburses up to set limits within 60 days of submitting the reimbursement request.
Foreigners can enrol by submitting a member registration form with a photocopy of their Alien Certificate of Registration issues by the Bureau of Immigration. If you are married to a Filipina, you are able to register as a dependent and also get cover.
Questions about healthcare in the Philippines?
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