What’s the latest in some industry sectors?

Published by rudy Date posted on June 27, 2009

Ms. Cynthia Carreon of the Department of Foreign Affairs looks at the still-raging global crisis as a tremendous opportunity for us. According to the DFA, Canada is looking at the Philippines for possible accreditation of our local hospitals in their medical tourism thrust. Ms. Carreon is optimistic that by 2012, we will be generating $312 billion in this industry where our main competitors in the region, namely Thailand, India and Singapore continue to rake in the precious dollars. Like us, they also sent their representatives to the recent medical tourism convention in Zurich.

Just last year, Guam alone sent over to the Philippines some 5,000 patients, each of them spending a minimum of $15,000 per. Australia, on the other hand, is busily promoting their popular “Smiley Holidays”. As the name suggests, this promotion centers on the dental industry. It is a fact that we charge one of the lowest fees in dental services, such that it is worth it for patients to come over, spend that much in airfares, get the desired dental services done (and done well too) and still come out winning.

By their reckoning, our medical fees are about one-eighth of America’s charges, so this is one industry that we can really push. In Thailand, one beef that foreigners reportedly have is the disparity between the fees charged for locals versus those charged to foreign patients. To prevent this, the DFA is now working closely with the Dept. of Health so the fees and charges are closely monitored. I believe ours is the only country doing this, as of now.

Lastly, they cannot underscore the need for more world-class retirement communities in the Philippines. The German community has been singled out as most eager to set up camps here for citizens in their twilight years. Japan and the United States both see the growing senior population as a potential problem too in the next five to ten years. While we still have the land, the proficiency, and the culture and temperament to set this up as another thriving industry, let’s get the ball rolling on this one. Specifically singled out in their chat with the European Chamber were Tagaytay, Subic, Iloilo and the quaint island of Batanes in the North.–Ray Butch Gamboa, Philippine Star

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