Recommended Iloilo, Philippines Doctors and Dentists

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There are hundreds, maybe thousands of doctors in Iloilo. For the newcomer it’s a challenge to find the best ones. We’re making progress, but our comments are those of relative newcomers who  still have lots to learn. Here’s an example of the need for caution. I had an eye exam at a well-known ophthalmologist in Cebu City. He diagnosed me with cataracts and said the sooner I had surgery the better. When I went back to New York, my long-time ophthalmologist said my cataracts were not serious and I would not need surgery for ten years or more.  That was in 2005.  I am writing this in 2015 and no cataract surgery has been needed.

New Qualimed Hospital

New Qualimed Hospital.  Nicer offices, more parking and often higher fees.  Many good University of the Philippines Medical School graduates are concentrated here, here but it’s often less expensive to see them in other clinics they maintain in the city center.  Qualimed is new and not all equipment is ready.  Some doctors have more of their equipment at their offices in the city center, so for now the city center clinics might be a better choice.

Generally you do not make an appointment with a Philippine doctor or dentist.  They maintain “clinic” hours at their various office(s).  You just show up during the clinic hours and wait your turn.  If you call in advance to make an appointment, you may just be told to show up during clinic hours. Bring something to read. If you become a regular you may be able to schedule specific appointments. Offices are often cramped and not so fancy as what foreigners may be used to, although the recent proliferation of more upscale hospitals is leading to better facilities — and higher prices.  Don’t be too quick to measure the quality of the doctor or dentist by the character of their offices, but the number of patients waiting may be an indicator.  The cost of a routine doctor’s appointment in Iloilo City is generally P300 to P500.  These suggestions are only based on personal experience and or recommendations from trusted friends.
  • For an eye doctor, we very much like and trust  Iloilo ophthalmologist Dr. Karen Y Rivera-Francia who trained at the University of Santo Thomas in Manila.  Her office is at Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital Medical Arts Condominium Room 108.  Her equipment is up to date, her manner highly professional.   She charged us P400 for an an exam including dilation and glaucoma and cataract screening. Phone 336-8699 Clinics MWF 1-4 T-Th 10-3 (as of 9-10-11)  Dr. suggests that you call for an appt.  Dra. Francia does perform laser and other eye surgery.
  • Ear, Nose and Throat (Otolaryngologist)  Bob had a persistent middle ear infection, was seen by three doctors and went through multiple courses of antibiotics.  It was Dra. Melita Uy who found the solution.  I was ready for more drastic measures such as drainage tubes or grommets or even a CT scan but Dra. Uy said those steps were not necessary, although they would have been profitable  She is a graduate of Santo Thomas Medical School.  Her fees are reasonable.

    Dra Uy Clinic Hours

    Dra Uy Clinic Hours

  • We’ve used Urologist Pedro Tingson.  He is well-regarded.  He has offices at St. Pauls Hospital (337-6449) and Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital (337-2527)
  • Dermatologist. We can recommend Aileen Montero MD, with an office at Room 203 Iloilo Doctors Hospital Office Condo, 336-5556.  She was on the list of board certified dermatologists in Iloilo given to me by New York dermatologist.  She does our regular dermatology checkups.  She removed some very large moles on my scalp.  She did an excellent job at a modest price. Dr. Montero is a graduate of the UP Medical School.


    Dra. Montero’s new schedule

  • I like cardiologist Dexter Dale D. Briones at the J&B Building, Quezon Street, 508-9544.  He is a graduate of the St. Luke’s Heart Center. Clinics begin at at 1:00 and are busy.
  • Another well regarded cardiologist is Joefil Acosta, St. Pauls Hospital 2nd Floor Room 2054, Phone 338-1814.
  • Neurosurgeon Paul Francia trained at University of Santo Thomas in Manila and in New York. His office is in the Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital, Medical Arts condo. Phone 337-4525
  • Gastrointerologist, Danilo Encarnacion is Chair of Digestive Disorders Department at St Paul’s Hospital and is recommended on the US Embassy website.  We have found him to be very capable and thorough. I would trust him to perform a colonoscopy, but I did not ask him the cost of one. Perhaps I was not so anxious to have one!  +63-33-336-1555.  Clinics M-Sat 9-1. Initial exam was P400.
  • We received excellent reports on Plastic Surgeon Maria Elena Villareal.  Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital Office Condo. Phone: 0917-659-8197, Clinic (033) 3371453, (033)3371576 Clinics: 9:00-12:00 noon, Monday to Friday
  • Friends have given a positive recommendation to internal medicine and pain management specialist Dr. Celine Vilches at the Pain Management and Palliative Care Center at Iloilo’s Mission Hospital, Jaro, Iloilo City
  • For Obstetrician-Gynecologist, we suggest U.P. trained Laura Tupas.  Dr. Tupas is trained as a gynecological oncologist and maintains a general ob-gyn practice at the new Qualimed Hospital.
  • Pulmonologist Sheenly Terrafrancia-Suresca is a U.P trained respiratory disease specialist.  She maintains clinics at the mezzanine level of the J&B Building on Quezon Street above the Erin Family Pharmacy (508-3113) (T-W-F 2pm).  She also has clinics at The Medical City Iloilo and in Guimbal. Guimbal clinics are M-Th-Sat. Guimbal phone 315-5509
  • We are very impressed with U.P. trained Endocrinologist (diabetes specialist) Diana Marie Javellana-Cacho.  She also maintains an office at St. Paul’s Hospital in Iloilo City and at Qualimed.  Clinics are M & W 2-5 and F 9:30-12:30.  Call for an appointment. 033-337-6117
  • Psychiatrist Daisy Chua-Daquilanea sees many foreign patients.  Her new office is at Mission Hospital, MAB Building, Third Floor, Room 304.   She sees patients by advance appointment.  Phone +63-33-393-2215.  Consultation fee P800.
  • Patricia Tupas is an excellent Iloilo dentist.  Dra. Tupas trained at the University of the Philippines Dental College in Manila and was the sixth highest scorer on the May 1995 Board of Dentistry licensure exam.  Her office is small but spotlessly clean with modern equipment, including x-ray.   She charges P750 for a very thorough ultrasonic cleaning, P500 for extractions, P600 for single surface restorations (fillings), up to P1,200 for multiple surface restorations.  Her office is at the mezzanine level of the J&B Building on Quezon Street.   Schedule: M-T 9-12, W-Th-F 1-5, S 1-5. Phone 033-338-4122.   Dra. Tupas uses purified water for dental work. We mention this because a friend of ours came to the Philippines for extensive dental work in Cebu City.  In addition to the significant discomfort of the dental work, he ended up hospitalized with amoebic dysentery.  There is no way to tell if he got the bug as a result of his dental work or some other way.  Still, lots of water ends up in your mouth with high speed drills, ultrasonic cleaning and rinsing.  It’s certainly best if  this water is purified.
  • Dentist Mary Christy Mondragon’s office adjoins that of Dra Tupas at the mezzanine level of the J&B Building on Quezon Ave. Both Bob and his son needed extractions.  His son needed a very impacted wisdom tooth surgically removed (P9,000). Bob had a molar extracted (P1,000).   The best recommendation we can give is that Bob’s son left on a bus for Boracay the next morning!  Contact info pending.  Dra. Mondragon’s office and equipment are clean and modern.
  • Gretchen Ramirez, DMD, Dentist, Zapanta Dental Clinic, Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital Medical Arts Condominium Room 105. Phone 337-2220.  More confidence-inspiring office than most. Uses ultrasonic scaling, sterilized water for drills and mouth washing.  Has x-ray equipment. Sent us for a panoramic xray at Iloilo Dental College (P700).  Fillings P800 per surface. Teeth cleaning P800.  Many Iloilo dentists, even good ones (and not so good) have office locations and accouterments which are a bit shabby by international standards.  Not so with Dr. Ramirez.  Her offices should make foreigners feel more comfortable.  We have had nothing but good reports from those who have tried Dr. Ramirez.

Also see our suggestions on Manila doctors and hospitals.

Our niece at Dra. Pat Tupas’ office in Iloilo City

It’s in your interest to be an informed patient.  This is especially true in the Philippines.  Go to trusted online sources (we like to learn about your condition(s) and double-check what your physician is telling you and prescribing for you.  Have the lab tests recommended for diagnosing your condition been performed?   If you find information which seems contrary to what your doctor has told you, either go back to the doctor and raise your concerns or get a second opinion.  You and your family are the ones who will suffer the consequences of misdiagnosis or mistreatment, so you have to do whatever you can to be an informed patient.  Some doctors, some good doctors will resent or be impatient with this.

Some doctors do not take detailed medical histories before prescribing a course of therapy.  They may be unaware of your other medical conditions and the other medications you may be taking. If you are taking multiple medications, do your own checking on side effects and conflicts.

Updated Jan. 20, 2016

Comments (19) Write a comment

  1. good morning,
    don’t go to Gretchen Ramirez !
    i was with my wife to clean our teeth.
    she say i have 2 cavity and my wife 3 and charge us 8000php!

    i think she lie about cavity because she do nothing on the teeth.
    i do a mistake not asking price before she start and she think deep inside “stupid americano”.
    and it’s not clean at all: the tools look snot clean and she didnt clean the tools between me and my wife !



    • Oliver,

      Thank you for your report. So you both had cleanings and had five cavities filled for P8,000? Depending on the types of cavities (surfaces affected and material used) that does not seem so unreasonable. We have had Gretchen do quite a bit of work on our teeth and think she’s an excellent dentist. Sorry that you were not happy with her.

      Bob and Carol


  2. Hi, My Name is lovelyn and in the first trimester of pregnancy, i experience extensive oiliness on my face and gradually develop small pimples…I wonder if Some certified dermatologist in Iloilo do facial or micro dermabrasion specialized for pregnant women. I really want to look good eventhough im pregnant but afraid for my babies health. Hopefully you can recommend some good dermatologist to me. Thank you and have a good day!


    • Lovelyn,

      As mentioned in our write-up on Iloilo doctors, we think highly of dermatologist Aileen Montero MD. I am sure she would not do anything which could threaten you or your baby. Best wishes.

      Bob and Carol


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  4. PLease ,I want to transfer to your university this Coming January 2012. send me the condition. i m Student 2nd year Proper in Dentistry . I am From Africa I ma student at AUP silang kahoy cavite.. Happy New year 2012 and God Bless you.

    Cell phone +639272173403.


  5. your site is helpful -thank you :0 I would really appreciate it if you can make available, info on medical dentists in Iloilo City. Emphasis on “medical” – as most dentists today specialize in orthodontics/cosmetic surgery.

    Am looking for a dentist who will take good care of the health of my teeth and gums- I am diabetic. Is there a dentists who can combine skill and compassion ? Someone who knows what a toothache really is – some dentist who really has experienced it? Thank You :0


    • Annabelle,

      Both of the dentists we list are generalists. We find them to be competent and very nice human beings.

      Bob and Carol


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  7. Guy,

    It’s generally not customary to make appointments with Philippine doctors and dentists. They usually hold “clinics” which are first come, first served office hours. While there can be long waits for some doctors, dentists are usually not so busy. If you call for an appointment they will usually just tell you to come in during “clinic hours”. If you are established client you can sometimes arrange for a specific appointment with a doctor.

    If you and your wife have a lot of dental work, go during clinic hours for your first appointment and work out a schedule for the balance of the work. Other dentists practicing with Dr. Ramirez are also said to be very good. Bear in mind that we have not have very complex work (implants, root canals etc.) done by Dr. Ramirez or any other Philippine dentist. She did a good job with our cleaning, filling and making Carol’s bridge.

    An American friend of ours had extensive dental work done by a highly regarded dentist in Cebu City. Neither of us were especially impressed by the way the work was done. Be sure you and the dentist discuss, understand and agree on the details and cost of a dental work plan before beginning the work. My friend in Cebu really did not understand what was going to be done. It involved grinding down almost all his teeth, even healthy ones, and installing a permanent denture or bridge.

    I wish you could bring us a real baguette, pate and decent Camembert!


  8. From: Guy Pelletier:

    From I read in your website that Doctor Ramirez is a good dentist. My wife and I will be in Iloilo next january and we may have big job to do with our teeth.

    Do you think we are better to take appointment with doctor Ramirez before we leave Québec City?

    If so, do you know if Doctor Ramirez has an e-mail adreess?

    For months, your site is a real guide for us. Even if I’ve been in Iloilo four times, I learn something each time I read your site.

    Keep up with the good work.

    Gy Pelletier
    Québec City


  9. Natie,

    Thanks so much for for your dentist recommendation. For those who don’t know, Natie is a balikbayan working in one of America’s greatest hospitals, New York Presbyterian.


  10. hi, Bob and Carol! this a.m. i had major dental work done. my dentist made it seem like a routine procedure. it was a complicated tooth-extraction…it would have been a surgical procedure in the States complete with some kind of anesthesia or light sedative..i paid P300 for it, and my new ”store-bought” choppers (uppers) will only be P12,000. i was overjoyed since it is very well below my budget. this would have cost me thousands ‘back home’, inspite of dental coverage. My dentist is Dr. Socorro Sanson. Clinic is near Doctors Hospital, 2nd floor of the building where McDonalds is.


  11. The U.S. Embassy in Manila has a section of its website which gives some doctor and hospital recommendations. Here’s what they have to say about Region VI which includes Iloilo:


    Iloilo City, Dr. Danilo Encarnacion
    Iloilo St. Paul’s Hospital
    Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo
    Tel. No: Hospital: (033) 337-2741 to 49
    Fax no: (033)335-2471
    Clinic telefax: (033-336-1555)

    Dr. Ellamae Divinagracia (Infectious Disease)
    Dr. Melvert Divinagracia (Family Medicine)
    St. Paul’s Hospital
    Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo
    Clinic hours: 11:00 – 1:00; 4:00-6:00 pm
    Tel. No. Office- (033) 337-5358
    Residence – (033) 320-0087;
    Pager: 902-2307
    Celphone: 0917-302-0517


    Dr. Aurelio Ampig
    St. Paul’s Hospital
    Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo
    Clinic Hours: 9:00 – 12:00 n; 3:00 – 5:00 pm Mon to Fri
    9:00 – 1:00 – Saturday
    Tel. No: Office:(033) 724-19; 727-42 to 44 Res: 720-53

    Bacolod City, Dr. Leila Malata
    Negros Riverside Medical Center
    Occidental North Drive, Bacolod City, 6100 Negros Occidental
    Clinic Hours:
    18:00am-12:00nn; 2:00pm-6:00pm – Daily except Sundays
    Tel. No: Office: (034) 433-7331

    Kalibo, Dr. Juliet Macahilas
    Aklan Medical Diagnostics Panay Health Care Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PHCMPC)
    Torres-Oliva Bldg., Roxas Ave. Ext., Kalibo, Aklan
    Clinic hours: 9:00-12:00; 2:00-4:00 pm Mon to Fri
    9:00-12:00 nn – Sat.
    Tel. no: (036) 268-7216; 262-5263
    Res: (036) 662-4004

    St. Gabriel Hospital
    Tel. No. (036) 268-9146
    Fax no: (036) 262-1868

    Boracay, Dr. Rafael Lumio/ Dr. Jose Gil Causing
    Malay, Aklan Boracay Medical Clinic
    Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, 5608 Aklan
    Clinic Hours: 24 hours
    Tel. No: Office: (036) 31-47
    Res: (036) 22-42; 6623-400


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