How does the Health Care System Work?


Wondering about how health care works there, and costs for decent insurance, or how it works if you don’t have it and get sick, especially for retirement age guys. Geezers like me have to expect some health issues to arise at some point. You have to include that in your budget somehow.

For this one, I’ll have to call on my veteran superiors to answer this, as I don’t have any knowledge. I think there is something called Phil Health, but it doesn’t pay/cover for a lot. All I know is, a doctor’s visit in the Philippines is less than your co-pay for a doctor’s visit in America.

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  • Ed

    One of the most important topics I have seen and I’d like to share my three cents on it. For all U.S. military veterans (there’s a few I’ve chatted here with), you may obtain medical and dental care at the Dept of Veterans Affairs in Pasay City. I recall driving pass there upon arrival/departure in Manila and seeing the building. I did some research and the same policies apply i.e. showing VA card upon entrance, but it is advisable to register at the U.S. Embassy for extended periods of time. I am covered under the VA and Tricare myself and though both are free, the down part of utilizing these in the Philippines would obviously be the distance in driving to the VA. Moreover, it just depends on where one resides in the homeland. We’re from Pampanga and would I make the 1 or 2 hour commute to Manila to receive high quality medical care? Absolutely.

    In regards to Tricare, I had a friend who was terribly ill in the Philippines and was admitted to a hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga. She has verified that the facility accepted Tricare which is good news. However, it is not for certain that all hospitals would honor Tricare. I didn’t get the name of the hospital, but I’m already researching which specific ones are accepting it. Additionally, one should always have the important documentation for verification purposes and more importantly, all health insurance cards.

    On a final note, my mother passed away in June 2009 and my dad has told me that the hospitals in the country require an immediate deposit prior to receiving medical care. Once she was rushed to the hospital (due to a heart attack), my dad briefed me that they refused to assist him until a deposit was made so he gave them 10,000 pesos. In other words, it may be that one person is dying, but until money is paid upfront, nothing will occur. I feel for those who obviously cannot afford it, but I am not jumping into conclusions regarding the hospitals back home. It is just a reminder that the medical care here in the U.S. and the Philippines are night and day.

  • Kuya Robi

    “It is just a reminder that the medical care here in the U.S. and the Philippines are night and day.” I would say more like from two different planets. Excellent reply!!

  • doc33

    As it has been stated, health care facilities in the Philippines are cheap to access but inconsistent in its effectiveness particularly in the provinces. I have used health care services in the Phils, and I always go to a private doctor or a well known facility like the Makati Medical Center.

    What I like about it the most is the lack of paper work required before seeing a doctor. Also, even seeing a specialist will typically cost under $20, and there is never a need to make an appointment; just show up, tell the receptionist what you need, and you’ll see a doctor within 30 minutes.

  • admin

    Health care is so fucked up even here in the USA…I do agree with you Jedi, it would be nice and it should be in place, but it’s not. A wise man named Nas once told me “How can the President fix other problems when he ain’t fix home yet?”

  • Paulgee

    Philhealth is a useful way of reducing your medical bills if you have the misfortune to suffer ill health whilst in the Philippines.
    BUT … it is only available to Filipinos, and their foreign husbands/wives. It currently costs P100 a month, but is due to go up soon to P200 a month. That will cover both you and your Filipina wife and children if you have any.
    After paying in for 6 months you become eligible for a discount of up to 50% on medical costs. which is useful if you rack up an expensive hospital bill. In practice after incurring charges a variety of medical items in hospital the discount will work at rather less than 50%, but it is still a useful way of keeping medical expenses down. So marry yourself a beautiful Filipina wife like I have and enjoy cheap hospital visits.
    But beware the variable quality of hospitals around the country, those in the cities being the best. Fortunately we are close to Angeles where I hope the hospitals are up to scratch.

  • Wet Work

    “So marry yourself a beautiful Filipina wife like I have and enjoy cheap hospital visits”

    Hahaha . . congratulations Paul, but I was hoping for a less drastic solution to the problem. For me, I’ve found marriage to be more of a hazard to my health.