DOT, DOH seek to develop medical tourism

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Philippines has untapped potential in the field of medical and wellness tourism — but people have been coming to the country for treatments for years.

The Medical Tourism Index lists the Philippines as 19th in global ranking among its destinations. It placed 16th in the medical tourism industry and 19th in the quality of facilities and services.

Its services include cardiovascular care, orthopedic care, eye care, dental care, aesthetic medicine, and minimally-invasive surgery.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is working with the Department of Health (DOH) for the Philippine Medical Tourism Program. According to its DOH profile, the program aims to "contribute a noticeable and quantifiable amount to the Philippine economy and improvement in the quality of life." Its other goals include an increase of institutions with advanced medical services, the generation of jobs, and an increase in vistors.

The DOT cited cost analysis indicating that the Philippines offers a wide range of medical services at a more competitive price.

Filipino health workers are also known for their compassion and warmth, bonus factors when catering to patients.

The government also hopes that the country's proximity to popular tourist destinations will encourage guests to consider availing of local health services.

The DOT hopes to see internationally recognized wellness resorts that could further cement the Philippines' status as a wellness destination.