Cebu’s medical tourism will also cater to locals

By CHRISTIAN WAKEFIELD, Cebu GOld Star Daily Reporter

DISPELLING concerns that the much-promoted medical tourism in Cebu would deprive locals from state-of-the-art medical facilities and world-class services, the Cebu Health and Wellness Council (CHWC) yesterday assured that whatever is offered in the medical tourism package for tourists will also be available to locals.

CHWC chairperson Oscar Tuason said medical tourism in Cebu would even benefit the locals because the influx of foreigners who will avail of medical services here will prompt hospitals to purchase the latest state-of-the-art medical equipment and improve their facilities.

“We would not deprive anyone from using our 64-slice CT scan machine, for instance, whether he is a local or a foreigner. We will service patients from all walks of life,” Tuason, who is also the administrator of the Cebu Doctors Hospital, said during the weekly 888 News Forum at the Cebu City Waterfront Hotel.

Tuason said the boost of medical tourism in Cebu will actually enhance the type of service that hospitals here are currently offering because failing to do so will leave a hospital behind its competitors.

Under the medical tourism package, a foreign national can avail of an executive check up for around $2,000 inclusive of seven days and six nights stay at the posh Shangri-La hotel and Cebu City Waterfront Hotel, with free traditional massage and other hotel and resort-type of services.

“If a local wants to avail of the package, we will welcome him,” said Jenny Franco, chairperson of the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies.

Tuason, meanwhile, said Cebu’s three major private hospitals–Cebu Doctors Hospital, Chong Hua Hospital, and Perpetual Succor Hospital–are ready with best hospital accommodations, including suite rooms and private air-conditioned rooms, when medical tourists start coming in.

During the recently concluded 4th World Health Tourism Congress, Tuason said international buyers were surprised at the offerings of Cebu in terms of medical tourism and wellness.

When some of the participants dropped by Cebu for an ocular inspection, Tuason said the foreigners were amazed at the state-of-the-art hospital facilities here that are at par with hospitals in rich countries and the world-class resorts and hotels.

“We are now exchanging correspondence with the international buyers who expressed interest in availing of Cebu’s medical tourism offerings,” said Tuason.

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