News article from Philstar.com by Pia Lee-Brago

Quezon City Vice Mayor Ma. Josefina “Joy” Belmonte signed, on July 12, 2012, a Sister-City Agreement to renew its ties with the island of Guam.

This can be a good opportunity for the Philippines to further promote and establish internationally the medical tourism offered by the country.  Given that this is a new industry in the Philippines, which only started in 2005, the renewal of this Sister-City Agreement between Quezon City and Guam may help boost Philippine medical tourism in the sense that it may establish some sort of partnership with the said country.  

Guam is a strategically attractive market for Philippine medical tourism. The air travel distance from the Philippines to Guam is only 1548 miles.  If we travel with an airplane, it only takes 2 and a half hours, which means, people in Guam can easily come to the Philippines.  Consumption of people in Guam is relevantly high due to stable economic status. Nonetheless, it has very few dominant hospitals located in its region. The Philippines is nearer than mainland US, and of course, price of medication if much cheaper. Therefore, Philippines would be more attractive spot for patients from Guam.

Based on the group’s research, compared to other countries which offer medical tourism, the Philippines has not yet reached its peak and is still climbing its way up the ladder because as mentioned it only started in 2005.  It was stated in the article that many of the people of Guam are now going to the Philippines for their medical treatment, especially in St. Luke’s Hospital Quezon City.  

Guam and the Philippines have the potential to share their medical tourism markets to allow them to progress together. Essentially, Guam is predominantly a tourist hotspot primarily focusing on vacation tourism. Guam, being a colony of the United States, allows ease of access travel to the Philippines due to their diplomatic relations. By renewing their ties, Philippines and Guam’s Medical tour packages could coincide with one another to support each other’s country by adding to their potential market share. Imagine people who’ve always wanted to vacation in Guam and get cheaper surgical services as well. With this, people who live in Guam or are planning to visit Guam can stop by the Philippines, have surgery, and enjoy a painless trip to Guam due to its close proximity to the Philippines.

Authors:
Advani, Hermant
Macapagal, Louine
Olinares, Grace
Park, Jong Hwan


 

News article from Inquirer.net by Rafael Castillo

The modern world of today has given rise to the exponential growth of technology. With the discovery and advent of stem cells, the medical world has seen a substantial rise in medical technology. Stem cell research has opened the way for scientists and doctors to better understand the machinations and complexity of the human body. Stem cells can be described as the bodies “One for all cells.” Stem cells have limitless potential because they are the pre-cursor to human development. Imagine a cell that can change its structure to match any type of cell that the body has and in essence “rejuvenate” its process. For a baby to even develop his or hers new organs and bone structure, his stem cells first apply the blueprints for his body. These cells can be harvested and used for virtually anything in the body from regenerating tissue to even recreating new organs. The issue regarding stem cell research stems from the study itself being relatively new and not fully understood yet many medical practitioners’ already offer therapies based solely on stem cells. That is the issue Dr. Ramon F. Abarquez brings up in this article.

Stem cells have the potential to change and improve everything we know about the medical sciences yet we still don’t fully understand the science yet. Many medical tourists flock to Asia specifically because of what they hear about the potential of stem cell therapies yet their countries prohibit the practice because it hasn’t been medically proven yet. The tourists go to countries with relaxed laws regarding stem cell therapies so that they can avail to the procedures. These medical tourist patients are practically gambling because they have the potential to be part of a revolutionary treatment that can help cure their ailments or be victims to its unknown devastating potential. The article calls into question what we know about stem cells now and if it’s worth taking the risk to try the therapies out there. 


Authors:
Advani, Hermant
Macapagal, Louine
Olinares, Grace
Park, Jong Hwan
 

Article from Philstar.com by Wilson Lee Flores

     Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry that encourages investors and entrepreneurs to invest in an industry that’s not only booming, but is also good for the country and its people. Medical tourism is a $6 billion dollar industry in Asia alone. The Philippines contributes around $300 million whilst Singapore pushes out about half of the total of Asia. “Of the 2000 to 2200 hospitals in the Philippines, about 55% are private” [1] This shows that the Philippine medical care is a viable industry to invest in. The Philippines should start now and strive to take a higher percentage of the market share in Asia. The reason why medical tourism is a profitable and morally good investment to partake in is because of the trickle-down effect that medical tourism can induce. By investing in medical tourism, the Philippines can gain more ground economically by profiting more from this industry. This also means that the technological advancements and medical developments that are developed from Medical tourism will eventually reach the entire medical market. Technologies, doctors, and even medical practices that are brought in from medical tourism will eventually lead widespread improvements in public healthcare as well due to the new degree of standards and practices. Off course, this would not happen right away or until medical tourism becomes big enough in the Philippines to have its trickle-down effect on the country. Finally, Medical tourism is not only limited to serving foreigners of the country but also its local inhabitants. Many Filipinos themselves go to Singapore for medical services. It is up to the Philippines and its investors to capitalize on this market by providing the Filipino people with the alternative to have their medical services performed in the Philippines because the Philippines already has great modern medical services, and it can only improve more with investments in Medical tourism.

[1] De dios, Emmanuelle regarding medical care in the Philippines.

Authors:
Advani, Hermant
Macapagal, Louine
Olinares, Grace
Park, Jong Hwan