Medical tourism another big growth area for PH

Published by rudy Date posted on November 13, 2010

CIELITO HABITO’S October 26 column, “Securing our economic future” just jumps off the page. It’s so optimistic and vibrant. And very true.

Habito may find “particularly encouraging” the “dramatic turn in overall investment,” and there is also the healthy flow of remittances from our OFWs. Yes, we are blessed “with a resilient, hardworking people” and the demand is strong for call-center personnel and animation, transcription and design services.

But what I find a big growth area due to the aging populations in rich countries will be the influx of medical tourists, retirement havens and care-giving services and facilities. St. Luke’s and other teaching and research hospitals and universities specializing in gerontology can make a genuine contribution to keeping older people not only fit and active physically and mentally but also to minimizing and alleviating any illnesses. People don’t die of old age, but of complications and breakdowns.

Personally, since having tried acupuncture again at a local wellness center, some lingering arthritic pain has simply disappeared and my circulation has improved. But I still need to be more active as well, but that’s my long-term goal. No one else can give me the motivation.

This country already has the trained nurses and caregivers and their fluency in English. Given the world-class medical facilities already available, perhaps it’s about time medical tourists responded by coming here for their short-and long-term treatment at a very competitive cost. Perhaps we simply haven’t been advertising in the right places?

Finally, if Australia has an excellent palliative care center in Adelaide’s Mary Potter Home in North Adelaide, where patients with terminal illnesses are treated to the very best of palliative care, regardless of the person’s faith or lack of one, is it beyond us to have such a center here? (But perhaps we already do, but I just haven’t heard of it. Excuse my ignorance.)

Euthanasia has never been much of a problem—moral or otherwise—in this country, and with such a positive pro-life approach, even at the end of it, why wouldn’t terminally ill people from First World countries want to come here to spend their remaining days enjoying the best of care among people who genuinely care? Nobody would ever make them feel as if they were a burden, for in truth they never are.

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