MEDICAL tourism is not something new to the Philippines. In fact, over the past several decades, more and more people have been traveling to the country to seek medical treatment. However, it is only in recent years that the country has become well-known as a health-care destination, owing to the phenomenal increase in the number of people visiting the country for medical- and health-related reasons.

Aside from the Philippines’s medical breakthroughs and milestones, the country is home to world-class physicians, advanced technology, some of the best hospitals and stand-alone specialty clinics in the world. Moreover, the country is also known for its affordable medical procedures, mainly, dermatological and dental care administered by the country’s top doctors.

Today the country is a significant figure in this industry.  Philippine medical tourism is projected to become a $3-billion industry by 2015, with an average of around 200,000 foreign patients expected to visit the Philippines every year.

To foreign visitors, the Philippines possesses a strong cost advantage compared to its neighbors. And not only are the country’s nurses and doctors highly professionalized, they also speak excellent English and are known for their caring approach to treatment, which is known in the local language as malasakit.

But while medical facilities in the country have shown vast improvement over the years, there remains a lack of a building that exclusively houses professional medical offices where patients can avail themselves of procedures without the need for admission or travel from one location to another to receive treatment as out-patients.

All that is about to change, though.

Century Properties Group Inc., which has made a name for itself in the high-end residential segment of the market and international brand partnerships, is bringing its expertise in property development and management to Centuria Medical Makati, a building that houses modern facilities and specialties under one roof and offers professional care in a hotel-like environment.

“We believe that medical tourism will play an important role in helping increase our foreign tourist arrivals in the country in the coming years,” Century Properties President and CEO Jose E. B. Antonio said.

Centuria Medical Makati—located in the property development’s flagship community, Century City—recently had its topping-off ceremony.

The state-of-the-art medical arts building, which is expected to be completed by December 2014, will house clinics that will cater to general medicine; multi-specialty practice; aesthetics/cosmetic surgery; dermatology; ear, nose and throat (ENT); ophthalmology; cardiology; oncology; neurology; psychiatry; obstetrics and gynecology; fertility; pediatrics; general surgery; orthopedics; urology; dentistry/orthodontics; anti-aging; geriatric medicine; pain-care management, as well as wellness and complementary medicine, among others.

Centuria Medical Makati, which is a partnership with GE Healthcare, will also have a day surgery center, diagnostic laboratory, digital imaging, pharmacy, recovery suites and ambulance-transfer services. The building will also offer medical concierge services and ample valet parking space. Its location within Century City, likewise, provides its accessibility to a shopping mall, cafés and restaurants.

“With sound medical infrastructures and facilities in place, it would be easier for the country to position itself as the next big thing in medical tourism,” Antonio said.

With Centuria Medical Makati adding another breakthrough in the country’s growing medical tourism, the Philippines is undoubtely set to become one of the major players in the global medical tourism industry.

Source: Business Mirror | December 31, 2013