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Cebu is inadequate in terms of facilities and infrastructure in order to attract the wealthy European tourists seeking medical help - these have to be taken immediate attention to.
To me there seems to be some misunderstanding here. Why in the world would "wealthy European tourist" want to come here for their medical needs? Certainly this is not the target market. Observing medical tourism and being a part of myself and encouraging many others to come here.
I content that wealthy European tourist are not the market to which Philippine medical services should be should but middle class individuals from other all other countries who cannot afford the soaring medical cost of medical procedures in their own countries. (These costs are so high certainly because of the high cost of medical malpractice suits in this country. Medical malpractice suits are rare in the Philippines).
"You are talking about Medical Tourism? Hospitals are even always fully booked, where you put the medical tourists," said Moya Jackson, honorary consul of United Kingdom (UK).
I have never had a problem getting a room in a quality hospital in Cebu. Is there a shortage of facilities here? I don't think so. Recently I had elective cosmetic surgery. No problem getting a room for that non essential procedure.
Jackson, was one of the speakers during the recently concluded Tourism Congress, together with other foreign diplomats, she spoke about the foreigners' impression of Cebu as a tourism destination. "You have an inadequate medical facilities, and even evening, entertainment," she stressed.
Every year Asia a survey is conducted to determine which country expatriates feel is the best country to live in Asia. Always, the Philippine is ranked at the top. The main reason is "quality nightlife." Of course there are others. The Philippine is not the place to come for the opera or the theater. It or no other country can be all things to all people. I don't know what "evening entertainment Ms. Jackson is seeking. Maybe she looks for chamber music. There it is rare. But there are many things to do here in the Philippines, and not just night life. It is a big section of the website and does not contain some of the latest innovations in water sports like kite surfing and others.
She also mentioned the problems of transportation access within the province and in the neighboring destinations.
I have no idea what she means. You can get to any place in the province you want. But there are so many things to do with 40 kilometers of the major cities, it is not necessary to go far.
Although, the Philippines, or Cebu in particular, has a tremendous potential to attract the multi-million dollar European market not only for medical tourism, but the travelers as well, there has to be a consensus efforts to fix, the infrastructure, and provide impressive facilities designed for tourists. Jackson, who has been based in Cebu for years now, said for Europeans, Cebu is an ideal location to escape winter climate, the province's are conductive for family, and good lifestyle is one of the few assets that she said Europeans would love.
However, some things have to be fixed first, like accommodation, retirement village facilities, more hospital rooms, among others in order for Cebu to become a "true-blue" preferred international destination, especially for the medicals tourists.
For his part, European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP) executive director Henry Schumacher said, in order for Cebu to attract another economy-boosted sector, the medical tourism from European; it has to clean up areas where tourists go.
Cebu should develop a patient-friendly environment, especially the nearby areas of hospitals, and retirement villages, no shanties should be in front of hospitals, or retirement villages, she said. "We need tough integrators, police assigned to protect solely tourists," Schumacher said stressing that local government units (LGUs) in Cebu, should cooperate.
As a long time resident of Cebu City, 10 years plus, I have never felt the necessity for police protection.
If Cebu wants to compete and capture sizeable market in 12 billion Euros spent by EU (European Union) market for medical travels, closer coordination with international health care insurance, and hospitals is highly recommended.
Of course close coordination is needed. But in my case, though almost 70 years old, prices for covered medical care with my Blue Cross, Blue Shield Plan is so low I have never been able to meet my deductible, US $300, I think.
The Global health expenditure is at US$3 trillion annually. In 1999, Asia's healthcare market registered at US$390billion, it is expected to increase to US$610 billion in 2013. According to Schumacher, while Cebu has all the natural resources like climate, warm people, among others, these should be complemented by good infrastructure set for this kind of tourists, and that Cebu should also do its own homework to promote as a "retirement destination" in Europe.
The fact of the mater is many are coming over now for medical care and there is room for more to come. The Philippines is doing well as a destination for the right market, those who cannot afford a gallbladder operation in their home country or badly needed dental work, even false teeth. Not need to wait until the infrastructure to be developed. The Philippine can be and is and should be even more aggressively promote as a medical tourism destination now.
Poor Medical Care in all Countries
CHICAGO Oct 20, 2008- New survey data ranking patients' experiences in US hospitals find many institutions fall short, particularly when it comes to managing pain, researchers said on Wednesday.
I just returned from Manila where I was in Asian Hospital. I thought the care was fine but not totally happy. But lit was good and there accommodations excellent. Even there people were smiling and visitors and a companion are the rule, not the exception. I would not go to the hospital in the US unless I had too. A recent in hospital for a hospital procedure not available here I dot in China taught me not to go without a guide or interpreter. But it was great and cheap there too, lots of smiles but if you don't speak English, better forget. But I would go back if I needed to save even more money than here, could not get the needed service here. But the Philippines is my choice for medical care, inpatient or our. Do be careful in choosing a doctor or dentist.