Healthcare costs and the quality of healthcare clinics available in the Philippines are valid concerns for anyone planning to live in this archipelago. After three and-a-half years of living in the rural province of Guimaras and nearby Iloilo City, my asawa and I have had occasion to visit various physicians, dentists and hospitals available. But how do they stack up to American healthcare?
Even with the shrinking value of the US Dollar versus the Philippine Peso, you will still find a visit to your local dentist or doctor will cost far less than want you pay in the States. The average fee for any doctor we’ve visited in the PH is P350, around 8.37 US Dollars. The average full cost of a regular doctor’s visit in the United States typically ranges from $80-$200. (Source: WikiAnswers.)
But there’s the issue of the waiting time in healthcare clinics in the Philippines versus the set appointment times which is the usual practice in America. Though I am retired and have all the time in the world, waiting in a doctor’s or dentist’s office is not one of my favorite things. Waiting for anything can be difficult at times but I’ve learn to adapt, for the most part, my past few years in “paradise.”
We have visited Robert S. Jacobo, MD, a general practitioner in Iloilo City located at Suite 204, J and B III, Quezon Street. Dr. Jacobo does take patients by appointments as he has several foreigner patients and knows they are not keen on waiting. Most of the healthcare clinics and doctors’ offices we have visited take walk-in appointments.
Sometimes a person can walk right in and see the doctor or endure a wait of an one hour to four (or more.) Sitting in the hot, stuffy hallways of most of these offices can be extremely trying at times. But that’s the price you pay for cheaper healthcare costs.
During “The Filipina Fish Bone Fiasco” my asawa and I had to wait four hours to see the doctor. Our attractive physician (who received some marriage proposals via this website—sorry, guy’s, she’s married—charged us P500 for that visit. But since she’s a EENT surgical specialist and easy on the eyes, I was OK with the fee.)
But what about the quality of care in these healthcare clinics in the Philippines? Healthcare costs are cheaper but how does that balance out against the type of care the patient receives. And what about the doctors? How do they stack up against their counterparts in the United States?
We met one doctor at St. Paul’s Hospital in Iloilo that was trained at Massachusetts General and had his own private practice in New York City. We also met one surgeon in Guimaras who advised me that it’s easy to become a doctor in the Philippines. He overcharged me for a visit to an Iloilo hospital during a kidney stone attack in February 2010.
But overall we have been pleased with the quality of healthcare in the Philippines. Low healthcare costs are certainly a big plus. If you don’t mind waiting and paying for the doctor’s visit upfront, no insurance co-payments available in the establishments we visit, a visit to the doctor or dentist, is tolerable.