How the Medical system works in Philippines

Adequate health facilities are available throughout the country but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards. Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.

Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions.

Be aware that some hotels or resorts may have exclusive agreements with medical providers, which may limit your choices in seeking emergency medical attention.

Medical staff may speak little or no English.

Being admitted to hospital in Philippines

Hospitals and doctors often require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals. Hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient. Generally, in public hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight in non-emergency wards. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child.

US citizens have lodged a large number of complaints about unethical business practices, prices, and collection measures against some of the hospitals in the Philippines. Travelers should make efforts to obtain complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care.

For emergency services in the Philippines, dial 911.

Ambulance services are not widely available, and training and availability of emergency responders may be below US standards. Not all ambulances are equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.


Buying medication in Philippines

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Philippine Bureau of Customs to ensure the medication is legal in the Philippines.

Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with few controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.

Vaccinations in Philippines

Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The following diseases are prevalent:

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in the Philippines.

Air quality in Philippines

Air pollution is a significant problem in several major cities in the Philippines. Consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you and consult your doctor before traveling if necessary.

Water quality in the Philippines

In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

Source: US Department of State