The Philippines is the ultimate new destination for medical tourism


Slippers and shorts are a standard dress code in Hawaii. As a resident of Aloha State for over 30 years, this has become the norm also for me as a German American.

Wearing slippers, however, can lead to unexpected deadly dangers, including a flesh-eating bacterial infection.

My story begins in Hawaii with a happy ending in the Philippines.

I have to thank the amazing team at the World Travel and Tourism Council and the best hospital I know in the world, Makati Medical Center in Manila, Philippines for literally saving my life.

My personal heroes at Makati Medical Center work under the direction of:

  1. Dr. Caoili, Janice Campos, Infectious Diseases
  2. Dr. Paul Lapitan, cardiologist
  3. Dr. Victor Gisbert, Surgeon

I honestly think I would have been in bad shape had I relied on my doctors in my home state of Hawaii. Attending the WTTC Summit in Manila unexpectedly helped my health and hopefully the quality of my future life in a big way – and here’s why.

This was made in the Philippines medical tourism in action

It all started on Friday April 15, 2022. I received my second COVID booster before leaving Honolulu for the WTTC Summit in Manila. On Saturday April 16, I went for a simple pedicure at the Ala Moana Mall across from my apartment in Honolulu. The pedicure went well except for a tiny cut that started to look like a monster.

On Sunday April 17, I flew with United Airlines to Guam, changed planes and arrived on Monday evening (April 18) in Manila. I am transferred to my hotel, the Grand Hyatt.

After a good night’s sleep, I woke up in the morning with chills, fever, and an infected red leg. Thinking it would heal on its own, I went to a Watson pharmacy to get some aspirin. It brought my temperature down. I took a COVID test and it came back negative. On Wednesday I was transferred to the hotel where the WTTC Summit was being held, the Marriott Manila. I dressed up for the WTTC summit welcome dinner, but ultimately decided to skip it. The pain in my left leg took over.

In the morning I met Gerald Lawless in the elevator and told him about my leg. He urged me to get it checked out at the hotel medical office. The medical office was run by the Philippine Coast Guard.

I went to the office and it took me 2 hours to convince myself and discuss it before deciding to have my leg checked at the hospital. The on-call doctor for the WTTC event called a Coast Guard ambulance and we drove to the emergency room at Makati Medical Center in Manila.

From there, everything went very quickly. I was placed in an isolation room to await the result of a COVID PCR test. Every 2 hours another test was performed on me. This was accompanied by extensive blood work, tetanus shots and high doses of intravenous antibiotics.

Luckily my PCR test came back negative on the second day and I was given a choice of 5 room types in the hospital. I chose the large private room. It was large, nicely furnished, and looked more like a hotel room than a hospital room.

In the meantime, 3 independent teams of doctors have carried out all possible tests. From ultrasound to chest X-rays, to blood and stool work – the most comprehensive checkup I’ve ever had.

The result: I was diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria in my left leg – a dangerous and very rare disease. The most likely cause was the small cut I received from my pedicure in Honolulu.

To make it even more exciting, two blood clots were detected during an ultrasound in the same leg, preventing me from even thinking about flying home. I was put on anticoagulants.

The result of all these tests gave me a complete picture of my health. The cardiologist changed the blood pressure cocktail I had been taking for years, and my blood pressure has never been better.

The nurses have become my good friends. Filipino health workers are known around the world for serving with passion. I would like to remember the name of the nurse who looked for a charging cable for my iPhone and brought it to me with a big smile.

Quality service with compassion is what Mapati Medical Center has set itself the goal of – and the clinic delivers on that front.

“We put our hearts into everything we do – live our values ​​by doing what is right for the health and safety of patients, the well-being of colleagues and the greater good of MMC,” is in the hospital mission statement website.

“Makati Medical Center has humbly accepted the Gawad Bayaning Kalusugan Awards from the country’s business and health leaders. Recognitions like these allow us to celebrate the stories of our brave health warriors who continually risk their lives to save others.

My primary physician, an infectious disease expert, recently won this award.

Makati Medical Center was founded by renowned Filipino doctors and businessmen in 1969.

The story began in the early 1960s when obstetrician-gynecologist Constantino P. Manahan, MD, together with surgeon Jose Y. Fores, MD, and cardiologist Mariano M. Alimurung, MD, decided to create a world-class medical facility in Makati.

At the time, Makati was just beginning to become a bustling residential and commercial center. The Ayala conglomerate was still implementing the early stages of its plan to transform the suburbs of Manila into the country’s premier business district. The plan called for a modern hospital to serve the community.

In order to raise funds for the construction, the founders sought out doctors and other professionals who shared their dream. They sent an emissary, Atty. Artemio Delfino, in the United States to seek other investors.

On May 31, 1969, Makati Medical Center officially opened to the public. For its founders, it marked the realization of a dream and the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice to provide world-class healthcare to Filipinos.

On May 31, 2019, Makati Medical Center celebrated its golden anniversary. The Makati Med community commemorated the Founding Fathers’ invaluable contributions to the hospital’s legacy. A coffee table book titled “Ginintuan” (Golden) was launched to chronicle the history and legacy of the institution throughout its 50 years of service to the Filipino and global community.

At Makati Med, Malasakit is enshrined in its quality policy: “We put our hearts into everything we do – live our values ​​by doing what is right for the health and safety of patients, the well-being of colleagues and the greater good of MMC.

Fundamental values

Service Excellence

To provide competent, appropriate, safe and responsive healthcare services that result in positive patient outcomes and the highest level of satisfaction among patients and colleagues.


Demonstrate sound, moral and ethical principles at work; never compromise the name and ethical standards of the hospital.


Respect the hospital’s code of conduct and the ethical standards of its profession; consistently demonstrate competence in the performance of their duties.


Demonstrate genuine concern and empathy through words and actions that enhance the well-being of patients and colleagues.

Team work

Collaborate harmoniously and respectfully with the team towards a common goal.

I was released after 5 nights and returned to Marriott Hotel Manila. My room was intact and it felt like coming home.

I was picked up by Sharlene Batin from the Philippine Department of Tourism and Verna Covar Buensuceso, the Deputy Secretary of the Department.

Maribel Rodriguez, WTTC

Maribel Rodriguez, senior vice president of the WTTC, watched me every day.

This confirmed tourist experience is synonymous with friendship, human relations and peace.

Tourism is more than a business, it is a business with a soul.

I am currently recovering at the Hyatt Regency Manila, City of Dreams with a long sheet of instructions and medication.

My new friends from the Philippine Tourist Board took me to the opening of the Manila Coffee Festival last night – so much fun, and anyone who knows me understands how much I love coffee.

Juergen Steinmetz and Sharlene Batin, Philippine Department of Tourism

Have healthier fun for less in the Philippines!

“It’s a secret that needs to be exposed and is coming out and going viral,” said Juergen Steinmetz. “The Philippines will become the number one destination for medical tourism. All the ingredients are there. Excellent doctors and world class facilities, nurses who maintain the standard for high quality care around the world, and a beautiful country, gorgeous beaches, great food and exciting cities.

How much was the bill?

This is the amazing part. Although it costs $3,000.00 just to see the inside of a US hospital emergency room, the entire bill includes all tests, doctor’s fees, a single hospital room deluxe for 4 nights, isolation room, emergency room, all medications and home care: $5,000.00

it's more fun in the philippines
it’s more fun in the philippines
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