Philippines medical tourism poised for growth


A globally-recognized accreditation program has been launched in the Philippines to improve the quality of care among local healthcare providers and develop the country’s medical tourism products and offerings.

Under the aegis of its exclusive Philippine representative HealthCORE, NABH International aims to improve the conditions, systems, processes and skills of healthcare facilities and professionals in the country through internationally recognized and accredited standards.

“Accreditation is a practical solution to one of the main issues in medical tourism, which is quality and safety assurance. We can not underestimate its importance, since international accreditation allows our healthcare provider to inform patients that it has undergone external assessment which has been benchmarked globally. It builds credibility and confidence, which generates recognition among foreign patients, thereby promoting medical tourism,” said Dr. Sanjiv Malik, Board Member of NABH and Executive Director of DM Healthcare Group in UAE, who was also responsible for the marketing strategies of Taiwan Task Force for Medical Travel.

Developed and successfully implemented in India, NABH has been accredited by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) under its International Accreditation Program in 2008--one of the few accrediting organizations in the world to achieve this recognition. ISQua is an international body which grants approval to healthcare accreditation programs as a seal of excellence.

“The Philippines already has some advantages compared to other countries—we have well-trained healthcare professionals who have excellent English communication skills, and our hospitality and optimism provides an ideal place for patients to heal and recuperate. But for medical tourism to truly flourish in the Philippines, we recognize the need for the Filipino healthcare providers to be at par with world-class standards, which is exactly the goal of accreditation,” said DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Vicente Romano III.

NABH International's accreditation process entails onsite visits and facility tours to assess if standards on access, care of patients, management of medication, patient rights and infection control are met. Standards on continuous quality improvement, good governance, facility safety, human resources and information management system are likewise evaluated by highly qualified and well-trained assessors comprised of clinicians, healthcare administrators and nursing supervisors.

“This is an opportunity for the Philippines to benchmark with the best in the world. Accreditation with NABH International results in healthcare organizations that are globally competitive and attuned to the needs and requirements of international patients,” said Dr. Girdhar J. Gyani, CEO of NABH International and Secretary General of Quality Council of India.

Aside from hospitals and clinics, NABH International also covers the accreditation of spas, wellness centers, blood banks, community health centers, and other small healthcare organizations.

“As we aspire to position the Philippines as an international healthcare destination, our world-class doctors, nurses and therapists need the same world-class facilities to practice their profession. By matching our world-class capability with the improvement of our hospitals and clinics to world-class standards, the Philippines is set to become a global hub of healthcare,” said staunch medical tourism advocate Joyce Alumno, President of HealthCORE and CEO of HIM Communications.

Aside from boosting medical tourism, the accreditation program is seen to support of the present administration’s agenda of giving universal access to high-quality healthcare.

"With NABH International's stringent accreditation process, we can ensure that our hospitals will provide safe and effective healthcare of the highest quality and best value. At its heart, NABH is all about improving the overall healthcare system for the benefit of patients," said Juris Umali-Soliman, CEO of HealthCORE.

About HealthCORE

A subsidiary of HIM Communications, HealthCORE is the central source and resource about Philippine healthcare, medical and wellness tourism, and retirement. With its top-caliber team of experts, HealthCORE provide solutions in research, communications, consultancy, training and accreditation for global healthcare and medical tourism.

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