Medical tourism is more about extending health-care services across international borders and expanding choices for patients on where in world will the go to access health care. The main proposition of medical tourism is cost – which international patients can go to the Philippines to avail of expert medical care at a fraction of the cost to avail on their native lands.
The Philippines has long been a favorite for those looking for a tropical beach getaway, but it is also being aggressively marketed in the international arena as the country of choice for medical tourism.
The emerging high standard of care, quality of medical practitioners, government and private participation all work in synergy to create an image of a country as a place to have the surgery they cannot afford at home, or just simply to save more on costs and have more money to spend on vacation among other things.
While it once started with cosmetic and elective procedures, it has now expanded to include cardiology, rheumatology, cataracts surgery, knee replacements and bone marrow transplants. Cosmetic surgery has especially enjoyed great success in the Philippines. The country has a wealth of skilled cosmetic surgeons who specialize in the enhancement of body and face.
Top of mind in the Philippine medical tourism industry specific to specialized cosmetic services is the Belo Medical Group. Founded by Dr. Vicky Belo, her practice has earned an esteemed reputation, pioneering liposuction and other similar cosmetic procedures, and making it available and even acceptable to a wider audience.
Belo’s roster of celebrity clientele and her presence in key cities in Manila has helped bolster the Philippines as a preferred provider of medical services for the international clientele. Aside from cosmetic services, the Belo Medical Group is the first ambulatory or outpatient surgical center outside of hospitals and is certified by the Department of Health (DOH). This unique model makes her services more attractive to those looking for a more relaxing venue to have their physical enhancements done.
The business model is an ideal precedent to those looking to enter the medical tourism industry. She has certifications from a number of international institutes which give her practice even greater credence to the international market. In 2010, Reader’s Digest cited Belo as among the most trusted brands in Asia.