Cost Of Medical Treatment In The Philippines: Common Diseases And Critical Illness Expenses You Should Prepare For

5 min. read By eCompareMo on

A 2019 research conducted by Philcare, a local health maintenance organization (HMO) provider, concluded that the cost of getting sick in the Philippines is unbearable to most Filipinos. Their Philippines Wellness Index data revealed that 37 percent max out their savings while 25 percent rely on their relatives to settle hospital bills.

Also, a study conducted in July 2019 by Mercer Marsh Benefits, a foreign consultancy specializing in vast healthcare services for employees, discovered that our country is the second most expensive in Southeast Asia when it comes to medical charges.

Are you financially prepared in case you or your loved ones get sick? Read on to familiarize yourself with various healthcare expenses.

Common diseases in the Philippines

The summer season brings different illnesses caused by a high temperature that affects our body and the food we eat.

Note that if you are employed, we highly suggest taking advantage of the services provided by your HMO and PhilHealth as they can shoulder the medical expenses for common diseases.

Sore eyes or conjunctivitis are caused by viruses, bacterial infections, fungi, dirt, pollution, and the use of unprescribed eyedrops. Frequent hand washing and avoiding hand to eye contact lessens the risk of having sore eyes.

Diarrhea is acquired through eating contaminated food caused by being exposed to high temperatures. Proper handling and storage of your cooked meals are important to prevent spoilage.

Even though it’s the summer, we may experience thunderstorms in the afternoon. This change in weather brings cough and colds. Always bring your rain gear and check online weather apps before going out.

Prolonged exposure to the scorching sun plus a low level of fluid and electrolyte cause heatstroke and cramps. Staying hydrated all the time lessens the risk of experiencing these types of diseases.

On the other hand, the rainy season also brings different illnesses such as leptospirosis. It is transmitted mainly by rats through floods. Wear rain boots and avoid swimming in contaminated waters to lessen your exposure.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever is caused by a bite from a dengue-carrying mosquito. To combat this disease, the Department of Health (DOH) strongly suggests following the 4S:

  • Search and destroy spots where mosquitoes breed
  • Self-protection actions
  • Seek early consultation from hospitals
  • Say yes to fogging when an epidemic occurs in your area

Typhoid fever is spread through consuming mishandled food and water or by close contact with a disease-ridden person. Symptoms include cough high fever, intestinal bleeding, abdominal pain, and poor appetite. Be picky where to eat and refrain from drinking water if you are not sure where it is sourced.

Leading causes of death in the Philippines

1. Heart diseases

These include conditions such as such as deformities, irregular heartbeat, deteriorating coronary arteries, heart failures, and the likes are the top cause of death worldwide.

Early detection, medication or surgery is strongly advised by doctors. Treating a sudden heart attack cost around P980,000 locally.

2. Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the result of having too much salt, fat, and cholesterol in your diet. Regular exercise, eating healthy food, limiting alcohol intake may lessen the risk of having this type of disease.

As reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), 14 million Filipinos suffer from hypertension. The most affordable maintenance medicine is priced at P1,600.

With this, under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Act, our government removed Value Added Tax (VAT) in medicines for such disease last January 2019. It enables underprivileged to avail and lessen the complications.

3. Stroke

According to the WHO, as of 2018, stroke is the second cause of death in the Philippines with a recorded 63,621 deaths. It arises when a blood clot gets stuck in the arteries of the brain, stopping the supply blood and oxygen. The absence of both kills brain cells and damages the brain’s tissues.

Symptoms include paralysis, weakness in one side of the body including the face, arm, and leg. Confusion and slurred speech are also visible signs.

Treating a patient who suffered from stroke cost starts at P1.8 million.

4. Pneumonia

Pneumonia may arise from viral or bacterial infections involving one or both lungs. It is highly contagious and can spread through inhalations of droplets from a cough or sneeze of a disease-ridden person.

Once infected, a person will experience coughing with phlegm, fever, chills, chest pain, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. Note that pneumonia may advance as a complication of lung cancer.

Treating lung cancer in the Philippines roughly costs P2.78 million.

Pneumonia may arise from viral or bacterial infections involving one or both lungs. It is highly contagious and can spread through inhalations of droplets from a cough or sneeze of a disease-ridden person.

Once infected, a person will experience coughing with phlegm, fever, chills, chest pain, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting.

Note that pneumonia may advance as a complication of lung cancer. Treating lung cancer in the Philippines roughly costs P2.78 million.

5. Breast cancer

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data released in 2018, breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women in the Philippines.

Furthermore, the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology supported this claim and added that the incidence is the highest in Asia, concluding that three out ten Filipinas may get breast cancer before reaching the age of 75.

As of now, there is no specific cause for this type of cancer. Doctors strongly advise early detection, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, lessening the intake of hormonal therapies, breastfeeding your children, and avoiding stressors are the keys to avoid this disease.

Breast Cancer treatment ranges from surgery to radiation therapy which starts at around P440,000.

6. Kidney diseases

As kidney diseases arise in our country, we will provide you with useful information.

When these vital organs are damaged, they will start to function less and may develop into chronic kidney disease. Kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is the last stage.

Symptoms include swelling of feet and ankles, not feeling hungry, muscle cramps, too much or not enough urine, belly pain, etc. We strongly suggest visiting your doctor right away to further evaluate your condition.

Kidney dialysis cost in the Philippines ranges from P195,000 to P440,000.

Tips on how to prepare

Save five percent of your salary monthly. Allotting a portion of your earning enables you to save an emergency fund in case such diseases will arise.

Look and avail health insurance that covers critical illnesses. Though it may cost more, getting such will greatly aid you during this unexpected situation.

Never max out your HMO privileges. Efficiently avail its advantages by using it on minor health cases.

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eCompareMo

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