Faith healing now part of RP medical tourism

Published by rudy Date posted on February 1, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – After “hilot” or therapeutic massage, now comes faith healing.

Faith or spiritual healing is now officially recognized and will be promoted by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as part of the country’s medical tourism programs.

Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said the DOT and a newly formed group of tourism, health and wellness firms are coming out with a new tourism package that would include faith healing services.

“It’s the first time that the different stakeholders of medical tourism such as hospitals, clinics, spas and other allied services have come together and formed Health and Wellness Alliance of the Philippines (HEAL PHILIPPINES), INC. with the aim of putting out a holistic medical tourism package,” Durano disclosed.

Durano noted that HEAL intends to put out a tourism package that would extend services starting from the foreign tourists’ admission in hospital until they return home.

“The visitors can then choose from wider range of services such as surgery, therapy, spiritual healing and visit to beach and other tourist destinations,” Durano said.

For the past few years, Durano said, there are tour operators that have specialized in faith healing but the DOT has not accredited such services due to difficulty in setting standards.

“Unlike natural health spas that provide the traditional hilots or massages, it’s very difficult to set a standard for faith healers because they do not have establishments,” he explained.

But he admitted that faith healing has also enabled the country to lure many foreign tourists, particularly Russians.

“There’s no scientific basis for faith healing, but we cannot just close our eyes because we know that there are people seeking for such service and it is available in our country,” Durano pointed out.

Faith healing and other forms of alternative treatments are very popular in the country, but the government had yet to promote this field of care to medical tourists until this time.

Dr. Joven Cuanang, HEAL president, said they hope to become an internationally recognized organization of health and wellness services, tourism and retirement stakeholders to ensure that the country objective of making the Philippines a preferred (prime) destination for global healthcare (medical and wellness) services, and for retirement are met.

“We hope to lure one million foreign patients and make our country a prime destination for global healthcare and retirement in 2015 by developing world standard services,” Cuanang said.

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