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Healthcare in the Philippines

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Healthcare systems differ from country to country. Here's some information to help you better understand how the Filipino healthcare system works and what it means for you.



When moving to Philippines, expat health insurance is an important item to research. The healthcare system in the Philippines is in transition as the country modernizes and grows. Here's some information to help you better understand health insurance, Philippines health care, and what it means for you as an expatriate.

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Hospitals in Philippines

While there are more than 1,600 hospitals, most of which are privately-run and accept health insurance, Philippines health care can be hit or miss. You will see a vast difference between the quality and skills of centers in the cities vs. the rural areas. Lack of funding has made rural facilities outdated and lacking by Western standards. In the cities, though, there are hospitals that can boast the same standards as their Western neighbors. In Manila, most expats head to St. Luke's Hospital, which has a 24-hour emergency center and practices top treatments and accepts most international health insurance in Philippines. Note that most hospitals will require a down payment at check-in, then give you the remainder of your bill upon checkout which you can then submit to your expat health insurance. Philippines illnesses, especially those most prevalent in foreigners, often require confinement for days to weeks, which can quickly increase a hospital bill. Be sure you have the proper vaccinations before arriving.

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For well visits or to see a doctor about a minor ailment or illness, consultations are available at both hospitals and medical centers to patients with or without international medical insurance in Philippines. Most facilities require you to pay in cash before leaving; you can then submit your receipt to your international health insurance plan.

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Most over-the-counter and prescription drugs available in the West are available and may be covered by your expat health insurance in the Philippines. While many drugs are over-the-counter, city pharmacies follow strict rules about regulated drugs and will require a prescription for many medications. Rural pharmacies may be more lax and not request your prescription. Popular chains of pharmacies in the country include Acme, Mercury, and Watsons.

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The emergency number in the Philippines is 117, however, the Philippines does not have a national ambulance service. If you need an ambulance, call your local, private hospital to see if they have one and can pick you up.

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International Health Insurance

While care may be affordable, you'll want to be sure you have access to the best quality available while in the Philippines. Help keep costs down and manageable by purchasing international health insurance in Philippines. Compare and choose from over 3,000 health insurance policies for coverage available to you as an expat. Get a quote now

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