Medical Conditions and the Philippines

mactan-doctorsI just lost a good friend last Saturday, his name was Joe Aubey, he was only 67 years old. Joe had just arrived here last December and was having the time of his life traveling around and enjoying the Philippines meeting and dating and proposing to marry one lady. Last Saturday evening at 5:20 PM Joe died of a major internal infection that shut down his kidneys and damaged his heart. Joe came here with a bag full of medications, had a pacemaker, had heart surgery some time in the past, had diabetes.

Although generally speaking, medical expenses here are real cheap, even at the major hospitals, however for more major hospitalization like heart attacks it can get expensive in a hurry. Last year I contracted diarrhea and lost a lot of body water, I spent 3 days in intensive care ICU at the Mactan Doctors Hospital and that cost me P 10,000 or about $250.00 For an expat on social security that can be a lot.  For Joe they wanted P 50,000 up front as deposit before they would even allow him to be admitted. And up to the time he died they had consumed all of that and some.

The point I am trying to make here is if you are in bad shape health wise, carry a lot of medications for all sorts of major aliments like heart disease or diabetes,  I would not consider or recommend moving so far away from the USA unless you have plenty of money in reserve. Retiring in the Philippines is for healthy people because with all the fun and sun there’s a lot of exercise you are getting here.  I fear Joe may have simply worn himself out. He and his new fiance’ were traveling almost constantly, They visited Bohol and back to Cebu at least three times in the month of February alone, He also frequently shopped so I believe this was simply way too much for his body to tolerate and in response it broke down causing his fatigue, infection and ultimately his death. It’s hard to loose a good friend especially Joe he had been adopted into our family here and spent a lot of time here with us so he will definitely be missed. Remember you are not a kid any more and your body may reject too much of a good thing like exercise. Don’t get me wrong exercise is good and I do it often, but I also know when to rest.

If you are healthy, that is have no major problems, then by all means make the move and begin to live for once enjoy our beaches and sandy shores and friendly people.

Medications are medications, i’m not talking about taking a lot of minerals, vitamins and other things, I do that myself and recommend it. I’m talking about prescription medications, a long list means trouble in my opinion.

If I get sick need an operation, I hope I have the chance to return to the United States for my care, but for the routine colds, flu’s and minor issues, I will remain here and use the local hospitals or be medicated at home.

If you need Health Insurance, I recommend: PhilHealth. This is a good alternative to Champus used by military retirees in the USA. For us military retired living in the Philippines the only way we can use Champus is with the VA hospital in Manila.

If you live in Cebu City I would not use Mactan Doctors Hospital, Care is a lot cheaper and better quality doctors at the “Chong Hoa” Hospital in Down Town Cebu City, a huge modern hospital near the Crown Regency Towers Hotel, and they do take PhilHealth insurance there.

Here an excerpt from their website:

Chong Hua Hospital is home of the region’s top specialists and sub specialist.
We are pleased to be the referral hospital of choice for physicians and
patients seeking the highest level of quality healthcare.
With our 660 beds and our state-of-the-art facilities and equipment,
we are considered as one of the biggest, most advanced, fully integrated
and comprehensive healthcare facility system in the Visayas and Mindanao.
In 2009, we became the third Joint Commission International accredited
healthcare organization in the Philippines, the only one in Visayas-Mindanao.
We are recognized by the Province and City of Cebu as an industry leader
as well as commended by the Department of Health for rendering excellent
services and facilities at par with those of the most respected
hospitals in the world.
Our eleven (11) storey twin tower building stands at the very heart of
Cebu City completing the backdraft of the famous Cebu’s landmark –
the Fuente Osmeña Circle.















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