Medical Assistance

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

General Information

The Philippines is a tropical country and as such, diseases that are rare in the U.S. are more common in the Philippines. Depending on the areas that you plan to visit, you may wish to discuss the advisability of obtaining vaccinations for diseases such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, and Tetanus.  There are also several prevalent mosquito born diseases such as malaria and dengue fever which can be deadly.  Malaria is not a problem in Manila, but it is prevalent in many rural areas of the Philippines.  Malaria is most problematic on the island of Palawan; here, mefloquine or doxycycline is needed as a prophylactic.  In the other areas, chloroquine alone is recommended.  For additional information, refer to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website. This page contains specific advice about malaria prevention in the Philippines by region.

For additional health guidance and a global rundown of diseases, immunization advice and risks in particular countries, please consult the CDC international travelers hotline at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747), their automated faxback service at 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or the CDC home page.

Medical Emergencies

If an American citizen becomes seriously ill or injured abroad, a U.S. consular officer can provide information on the location of medical services and inform family or friends.  If necessary, a consular officer can also assist in the transfer of funds from the United States to cover hospitalization charges.  However, payment of hospital and other expenses is the responsibility of the traveler.

To facilitate identification in case of an accident, complete the information page on the inside of your passport providing the name, address and telephone number of someone to be contacted in an emergency.  A traveler going abroad with any preexisting medical problems should carry a letter from the attending physician describing the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of the prescribed drugs.  Any medications brought overseas should be left in their original containers and be clearly labeled.  Travelers should check with a Philippine Embassy/Consulate (PDF) to make sure any required medications are not illegal in the Philippines.

Insurance for Travelers

Before going abroad, learn what medical services your health insurance will cover overseas.  If your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the United States, remember to carry both your insurance policy identity card as proof of such insurance and a claim form.  Although many health insurance companies will pay “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States.  Medical evacuation from the Philippines can easily cost $10,000 and up, depending on your location and medical condition.

The Social Security Medicare Program does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the United States.

Blood Donation (RH Negative)

The blood banks at the Makati Medical Center and St. Luke’s Medical Center (both in Metro Manila) maintain lists of possible donors of Rh Negative blood.  In addition, the American Association of the Philippines maintains a similar list of possible donors.

The American Association of the Philippines can be contacted at (02) 892-5198 during normal working hours.  During non-office hours, please contact the Embassy Duty Officer at (02) 301-2000.

Psychiatric Assistance

There are no private facilities in the Manila area that will accept psychiatric patients unless they have first been so certified by a psychiatrist.  In the event a U.S. citizen will not consent to hospitalization, the police or immigration authorities may sometimes take her/him into custody and subsequently transfer her/him to a hospital.

Psychiatric facilities in the Philippines are:

  • National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), 9 de Febrero, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Tel.:  (02) 531-9001.  (NCMH is a government hospital.)
  • Makati Medical Center, 2 Amorsolo Street, Makati, Metro Manila, Tel.: (02)  815-9911.  (Makati Medical Center is a private hospital.  However, it has a psychiatric ward for the mentally-ill.  The patient’s bill for board/lodging, excluding professional fees, laboratory tests, and medicine, is approximately P695.00 a day.)
  • University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Hospital, Espana, Manila, Tel.: (02) 731-3001.  (UST Hospital is a private hospital.  However, it has a community ward for the mentally-ill.  The patient’s bill for board/lodging, excluding professional fees, laboratory tests, and medicine, is approximately P500.00 a day.)

Scuba Diving Accidents

The Philippines is a popular destination for scuba divers.  Unfortunately, there are only three recompression chambers in the country for the treatment of ‘bends’ – a very serious diving accident.

1. The Philippine Commission on Sports Scubadiving has a helpline which connects to different facilities to attend to emergencies.

Philippine Commission of Sport Scubadiving
Helpline: +63928 CHAMBER 242-6237 or +63917-558-3825 – 24/7 services
Email: chamber@divephilippines.com.ph
Website: http://www.divephilippines.com.ph/hyperbaric-chamber/

PCSSD HYPERBARIC CHAMBER FACILITIES     

2. St. Patrick Hospital (Batangas)
Address: Hyperbaric Department St. Patrick’s Hospital, Lopez Jaena, Batangas City
Contact Information:
Trunkline: (043) 723-7089 loc. 1911 (Hyperbaric Dept. – Office hrs. 8 am. – 4 pm) (on-call 24 hrs.) (043) 723-2167
Hyperbaric Dept. cell: 0917-815-2010

Medical Evacuations (Medevacs)

Divers who do not wish to undergo recompression treatment in the Philippines may be able to seek the assistance of the U.S. Navy chamber in Guam, Tel:  (00671) 339-7143.  As in all medical cases, it is the responsibility of the American citizen to arrange transport from the Philippines to Guam.

In-country Medevacs:  In-country or domestic medical transport of patients from an outlying province to Manila may be accomplished with the assistance of either the Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) or the Operations Center which are both under the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).  Operations Center or the RCC provide assistance with in-country medevacs, which it refers to as “Airlift Missions.”   RCC and Operations Center are open 24 hours.  Below are telephone numbers for Operation Center, RCC and other Philippine government agencies that can assist with in-country medevacs.

CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY OF THE PHILIPPINES (formerly known as Air Transportation Office)
Website: http://www.caap.gov.ph/
Email: caaphil.rcc@gmail.com
Operations Center (24/7)
Tel. (02) 944-2030 through 32; (02) 944-2342; (02) 944-2343 or (02) 944-2034

Rescue Coordination Center (24/7)
Tel. (02) 672-7705; 672-7706
Philippine Air Force
(505th Search and Rescue Group)
Tel: +63 854 6701 x 5052
CP: +63906 306 3310
Email:  odo505srg@yahoo.com

 Philippine Coast Guard
(Operations)
Tel.: +63 2 527 8481 x 6136
CP: +63917 724 3682 / +63928 258 6841
Email: cgac@coastguard.gov.ph

Philippine Coast Guard
(Air Group)
Tel.: +63 2 527 3880 (operator)
CP: +63917 842 7136 / +63998 589 3949
Email: cgag@coastguard.gov.ph

International Medevacs:  Although medical care is generally good in the Philippines, there are conditions for which evacuation to the U.S. may be necessary.  Since a private plane can cost more than $10,000 for a single flight, you may wish to consider obtaining medical evacuation insurance coverage prior to travelling overseas.  There are several companies in the United States that offer such insurance.

Persons needing to be medevaced to the U.S. or other foreign destinations should contact a commercial airline or commercial medical evacuation service.

The Embassy at Manila has not evaluated the credentials of the physicians in this list and assumes no responsibility for their integrity or professional ability. The Embassy would appreciate receiving comments on these individuals and firms for use in their periodic revisions of this list.

If the services of a physician in the Philippines are desired, it is suggested that a definite agreement on the matter of fees be resolved before the services are actually engaged. This is important for the patient as well as for the physician and can prevent possible misunderstanding.

A list of physicians can be found here (PDF 207 KB).