The Philippines is experiencing a 'new wave' of travellers seeking medical treatment abroad, according to former health secretary Alfredo Bengzon.
Mr Bengzon told the Philippine Headline News that five per cent of admissions at the Medical City hospital in Pasig City are now visitors from foreign countries, with many holidaymakers seeking dental treatment or other medical services while in the Philippines.
The market is growing and current estimates place the number of foreigners visiting the nation for medical treatment at around 100,000.
According to Mr Bengzon, world-class Filipino doctors are enabling the industry to develop and a growing number are now returning after working overseas.
"After gaining experience abroad, many Filipino medical professionals are going back home so they could do something for their country by sharing what they've learnt," the former health secretary confirmed.
"Medical tourism would not only allow the country to reclaim the Filipino doctors who left to work abroad but also encourage those who are still here to stay," he added.
Consisting of 7,100 islands and islets, the Philippines is located of the south-east coast of Asia.
It is particularly popular with dental tourists thanks to its western-trained dentists and state-of-the-art facilities.