Bataan Freeport opens doors to medical tourism
BATAAN is aiming to ride the medical tourism bandwagon through its Freeport.
MARIVELES, Bataan — The Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) is opening its doors to investors for the development of the healthcare industry.
Emmanuel D. Pineda, chairman of the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), issued the statement following recent news that medical tourism is poised to continue growing globally in the next few years.
“Healthcare presents an opportunity for eco-zones like the FAB where the medical tourism angle can be built on,” Pineda said.
“In particular, given a sizable bulk of healthcare costs account to rehabilitation and not just operation, the latter can be done in Manila but the rehabilitation can be done in the FAB,” Pineda added, noting that the Freeport’s nice beaches, clean air and lower costs would be attractive for the foreign market.
“Foreign firms can also manufacture healthcare equipment in the FAB,” he stressed.
The FAB administrator believes that although the Philippines’ medical tourism is still a growing industry, the country can attract foreign investors engaged in health-related businesses.
The Philippines is recognized as one of Asia’s most advanced nations in the field of healthcare, with some leading hospitals in the country already accredited by the Joint Commission International and certified by the International Organization for Standardization.
The most recent projection is that the Philippine medical tourism industry will become more than a USD3-billion industry by 2017, with an average of around 200,000 foreign patients expected to come to the Philippines every year.
Meanwhile, the AFAB, in coordination with the provincial government of Bataan, is currently preparing for the operation of the first hospital in the Freeport.
The hospital has high-end medical equipment donated by the GN Power Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. and Philippine Minnesotan Medical Association.
The first Mariveles Hospital will ensure that the medical needs and requirements of potential and existing investors in the FAB will be attended to.