St. Luke's boss wants to lure more medical tourists

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 17 2017 03:49 PM

MANILA - The Philippines is poised to become one of the world's top medical tourism destinations in the next 10 years, as the government completes its infrastructure build, the head of one of the country's largest hospitals said Friday.

The country currently ranks eighth among medical tourism destinations in Southeast Asia, behind Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, said St. Luke's Medical Center president Edgardo Cortez.

"Infrastructure for tourism is being developed, but I don’t think we have reached a point where we can say we are as developed as some of the Asian countries like Singapore. But indeed when it comes to capability of our hospitals, a few hospitals in Metro Manila are actually great," he told ANC's "The Boss."

Cortez said his goal is to match healthcare expenses of medical tourists with those of local patients without sacrificing the delivery of service.

St. Luke's recently opened a coordinating office in Guam to facilitate booking and doctor appointments, Cortez said.

About 98 percent of medical tourists in the Philippines are from the US territory in the Pacific, he said.