Medical Tourism, Treatments and Surgery in Manila

(Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines)

Photo of the Manila skylineManila has been on the front lines of medical tourism in the Philippines since the movement first took hold in the early 2000s. Today, thousands of hospitals around the country offer discounted medical packages, and many of the best are based here.

The city is a travel hub in South-East Asia, and so it is easy for travellers from across the world to connect here. The clinics and hospitals in Manila targeting the medical tourist set maintain high standards and offer rates well below those encountered in the West. In fact, the local tourism department expects the entire archipelago, led by Manila, to bring in as much as a US$1 billion in medical tourism revenue annually. However, Manila doesn't quite have the infrastructure to match Mumbai or Bangkok.

Clinics in Manila are much more successful than the major hospitals, and they are sprinkled across all of the major tourist districts. These clinics specialise in outpatient treatments including cosmetic surgery, dental work and eye surgery, after which patients can escape to the islands for an easygoing recovery.

Advantages of Medical Tourism

The main advantage of seeking cheap health care in Manila comes down to cost. As capital of the archipelago, Manila offers access to all the modern infrastructure found in major cities in the West. In fact, many of the clinics are relatively new and are usually equipped with the latest medical equipment.

Doctors in Manila, especially those who are catering for international clients, do most of their studying in the UK or the US. In many cases, they follow precisely the same education track that doctors in these countries pursue. The difference in price comes down to scales of economy.

Having dental work or elective surgeries performed in Manila sets tourists up to save 40 percent or more over the same treatment at home. This saving can be funnelled into a holiday in the Philippines, where the diving, surfing and resort-style lounging can't be beaten.

Medical Procedures

The procedures that receive the most attention in Manila are elective surgeries that can be performed through small clinics. Tourists come for everything from dental implants to gastric bypasses, lured by ultra-competitive prices and well-crafted packages that feature luxurious recovery options. While dental and cosmetic treatments are most popular, more comprehensive treatments are available at local hospitals.


Manila has a pair of excellent hospitals that offer international calibre health care. These are potential venues for major surgeries and other more serious treatments. Otherwise, the city is strung with clinics offering plastic surgery, dental work and other elective procedures.

The Manila Doctors Hospital dates from the 1950s and is one of the few comprehensive medical facilities that cater for the international crowd. This was the city's first hospital to receive major international certifications and now hosts a full gamut of practices. The hospital's cancer treatment and general surgery wards are well-regarded.

The Metropolitan Medical Centre has also been in operation for several decades and maintains a roster of several hundred doctors. International patients enrol in special packages that include deluxe recovery rooms. Popular procedures include bariatric surgery, gall bladder transplants, kidney transplants and laparoscopic procedures.