Share Your Philippine Health Issue and What Did It Cost
In 2017 at Silliman Medical in Dumaguete, I was dehydrated due to digestive issue. They hooked me up to an IV and I was out a couple hours later. As I remember the cost was something like 1,500 pesos ($30 US). I paid out of pocket.
Very affordable! I've also had experiences where I needed to have IV fluids. The costs were similar.
Good to see you join the forum!
As most people who read the site know, I have had a number of very serious health problems in the Philippines. Thankfully, I have made a big turnaround in my health, and am feeling great! But, three times I have nearly died in the Philippines!
First, in 2001, I had a stroke. I was hospitalized for, as I recall, 2 weeks. I think I spent 1 week in the ICU, and the rest in a private room.
As I recall, the cost of that care was around P150,000. At that time I did not have any kind of insurance coverage.
I was bitten by an insect and got a very serious life-threatening infection. I was hospitalized for 4 days. The cost was only P14,000 after PhilHealth paid their part.
2016 was not a good year for me.
In June 2016 I suffered a heart attack. I was hospitalized for 1 week when I had the heart attack. The cost of this was about P100,000 after PhilHealth paid their share. But, that was only the beginning.
In September, I started experiencing more chest pain, so I had an angiogram (test to see how much arterial blockage you have), and that procedure cost about P100,000 as well.
After seeing that I had very significant blockage from the angiogram, I had a quadruple heart bypass in November. This is about a P3,000,000 operation, but after PhilHealth my cost was P250,000.
The costs of other things like doctor visits, other tests, and stuff probably added nearly another P500,000.
So, the cost was significant, probably about P1,000,000. However, that is a small price when compared to what you would pay in the US or other western countries.
One thing I can say for sure is that each time I have had major health problems I have always gotten extremely good care and service. I have full confidence in the healthcare system in the Philippines!
I think our posts (plus hopefully others contribute) will show just how cheap or expensive a health issue can be in the Phils. It can range from hundreds of pesos to millions. To all potential expats, ignore these figures at your own risk. There is no safety net (government assistance) provided by the Philippines like might be available in your home country. Also, please don't assume that other expats will help financially in an emergency. That's a dangerous assumption.
I was hospitalized two times in The Philippines for Pneumonia. Once in 2012 and again in 2017. Fortunately there are some excellent hospitals and health care facilities and I would advise anyone to do some research before hand so in case you need medical assistance you will know which facility is best for you.
I have vacationed in Iligan City, Northern Mindanao every year since 2008 and loved every minute of it ( well, almost ). In 2012 I entered Mindanao Sanitarium Hospital ( now known as Adventist Medical Center ) emergency department and was diagnosed with Pneumonia. I was out of the hospital in 5 days. This is a top rated facility. Care was excellent the place appeared very clean and maintained to a very high degree. I had a private fully equipped room for $52 per day. Total cost was about $1100 USD. After my return home to the USA my health insurance company reimbursed me.
Unfortunately on my visit of 2017 I had a much worse case of pneumonia which found me in Intensive Care for 5 days and then to a private room for another 10 days. Total cost abut $10,000 USD .
It may be partially my own fault for coming down with pneumonia. Some say the climate may have something to do with it. I am a bit run down from the long journey from New York, As soon as I get there I am like a kid in the candy store wanting to go here and there, do this do that, etc. My age and smoking I have been told also contribute to my getting pneumonia. Obviously with the excitement of being there and the low cost of cigarettes compared to the USA make me smoke more than usual I think. Attending functions in very crowded places was also considered a contributing factor.
I would advise anyone considering a trip to The Philippines to get a pneumonia vaccination prior to going there. Several Doctors informed me that it is considered the number 4 killer in all of The Philippines. You can read more details of my 2012 hospitalization in my LIP article " Hospitalized In The Philippines ".
Seems like Bob and I were talking about this the other day. If you go to a hospital in the USA like UCLA then go for it! If you can afford it and your insurance will cover it then do it. But if your going to your hometown to have major surgery in a hospital that might not even make the top 50 hospitals in the US then I'd reconsider. You could go to the best hospital in the Philippines, one that does open heart surgery maybe 350 times a year and I'm confident you'd get better care. It really depends on the circumstances but I'm 100% sure that Bob made the right decision and went to one of the best heart centers in the Philippines and is still here with us because of it. People die every single day in a US hospital so we really can't make the assumption that everything in the US is better because it might not always be the case.
I was shocked to read anonymous 3 time health problems in the Philippines and the huge amount of money he/she had to pay, even after Philhealth deducted some things. May I please ask,
What is the best option for an expat to get atleast 90% coverage of hospital bills or 95% coverage? Would it be a Philhealth+ a private insurance combined? If yes, which Private insurance in PHL would you recommend? I am afraid I may not have 300,000 or 250,000 to pay off at one go in case of any emergency like heart attack or stroke, but generally I live a very healthy life, do not smoke or drink etc.
I come from Australia, and generally the government health care system covers all (paid by our taxes) and also covers pre-exsting health conditions unlike private insurnace.
Looking forwards to your inputs please. Many Thanks.