Cosmetic surgery may bolster RP’s medical tourism drive

Published by rudy Date posted on July 22, 2009

The Philippines can make use of the booming cosmetic surgery industry to bolster government’s campaign to make the country a hub for medical tourism.

Dr. Almond Derla, owner of La Estetica Clinic, said the government could tap the industry to spearhead the medical tourism campaign because of well-trained cosmetic surgeons, adequate facilities and quality services at competitive rates.

“We have well-trained doctors who are experts in cosmetic surgery. We Filipinos are known for giving quality service and our rates are very competitive. The government can jump-start its medical tourism campaign using cosmetic surgery, which is gaining much popularity,” said Derla.

He said many Filipinos already residing abroad came back to have medical procedures done in the Philippines because of cheap rates and the same quality of service.

Derla is a member of RXPinoy.Com, a group of doctors tapped by the Tourism Department to lure balikbayans who want to have medical consultations or procedures done here.

He said the industry could draw in foreign tourists and retirees looking for affordable but reliable cosmetic and augmentation services.

Derla said he hoped the full implementation of the Integrated Philippine Medical Act of 2009 would weed out practitioners not trained to do cosmetic surgeries to protect the industry from malpractice.

He said demand for cosmetic surgery services was strong and that the business was doing well despite the global economic slump.

“I am on an expansion mode given the increased demand for my services. I am putting up my third clinic in Quezon City in addition to my clinics in Ortigas Center and in Davao City,” said Derla. –Elaine Ramos Alanguilan, Manila Standard Today

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