Medical care in the Philippines – it’s no bed of roses

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The following article from the “Stars and Stripes”, “Tricare scrapping troubled system in Philippines to address fraud, military retiree care” is over a year old but it worth reading.  It certainly give some perspective to those considering coming to the Philippines as a “medical tourist”.

It also shows the obstacles faced by Medicare Advantage programs seeking to devise ways of providing  Medicare coverage to Americans retired in the Philippines,

Tricare is the program to provide medical care to retired American military personnel.

Here’s the link to the article:

See and subscribe to a Tricare blog at

Comments (3) Write a comment

  1. I am an American Citizen and reside in Boracay for the last 4 years. I have a
    certified monthly income, etc. . Please advise what Doctor care and hospital
    in the event may take care of me and how do I initiate an insurance application
    Thank you,
    Werner Wolff


    • Werner,

      The only PUBLIC health insurance program I know of is PhilHealth. It’s inexpensive and worthwhile, but far from comprehensive. You can try to sign up at the Kalibo office: Cor. Archbishop Reyes and Veteran Ave., Kalibo, Aklan, (036) 2689001 | (036) 3221100. There are various private insurance plans. Such as Medicard ( Blue Cross ( and many others. If you are old and/or sick they may not accept you. I have no experience with any of them as I do have pre-existing conditions, am old and am somewhat distrustful of Philippine insurance. Carol and I self-insure. If needed and travel is feasible, I could return to the U.S. where I have Medicare coverage.

      In any case, try to keep a financial reserve to pay for care.

      Hope this helps.



  2. There is a serious problem in the Philippines if you are blood group Rhesus negative (like me). As in most of SE Asia Rh -ve is very rare, almost the entire population being Rh +ve.

    This creates a serious problem if you are Rh -ve and require a blood transfusion for an operation or in an emergency situation as Rh -ve blood is not available from blood stocks.

    The American Women’s Club of the Philippines does however operate a blood donor program, particularly for those who are Rh -ve. You can sign up to their database as a blood donor and also receive help from them if you require blood (particularly Rh -ve).

    If you are able to donate blood, particularly if you are Rh -ve you can contact them through their website-


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