Getting ill in the Philippines

Getting ill here is more something that will eventually happen than something you can avoid. Prime example of a cause of getting ill can be ice as a lot of ice is made from tap water but also even if it wasn’t its one of those things that are a magnet to bacteria. If your here on your first trip and get an upset stomach worth remembering if you had ice in your drinks and where. Its not the end of the world mind as you will adapt to it, at the same time having to rush to the toilet every ten minutes isn’t the most romantic of things to be doing.

One of the most important and cheap things to buy here is “Philhealth” I wont go on about who is entitled to its uses as I think its important you research it personally incase any changes happen in the policy. But for around P1,200 (may have changed) it will cover a percentage of your hospital fees as well as get you through the front door. You can sign up as a family so it would cover you, your spouse and children. One of the few insurances I would advise anyone to take.

Medical insurance locally to cover all bills is something I haven’t heard one person say a good thing about. Most insurance would involve you paying your medical bills up front and trying to reclaim from the insurance company. Question I would ask if that is needed why the hell do I want insurance especially when the odds are against me in getting my payments back and a risk the company will disappear.

Another thing to remember is certain things are relative to certain areas and a lot are seasonal. Doing a bit of research you can reduce your risk of anything major going wrong and anything unexpected is something you just need to prepare an emergency budget for which a lot of expats don’t which often leads to them being financially wiped out and unable to afford to stay comfortably or leave the Philippines.

Some expats were looking to put an emergency fund together everyone pays a monthly fee for which is a good idea but at the same time not something I would invest in because of the “high risk” most expats are.. e.g. I am 36 I have had a couple of serious illnesses here which I have been lucky enough to have a great wife and mother inlaw sort out some local remedies (as dengue has no proven cure) and rode it out for a rough few weeks. But most expats are in the 60+ bracket and more than half of them are overweight or already having medical problems. What is then defined as an emergency? If someone is on medication for a long term illness do you write that off as its something that is expected? do they pay more because they are higher risk? There is a reason good insurance is expensive and there is also a good reason a lot of people don’t have it “they cant afford it” or can’t see the value of it. People talk of a budget of about P2,000 a month in reality I think it would need to be around P15,000 due to lifestyle and health issues. Which is why I won’t get involved. If people can iron out the issues with it I will happily take a second look or promote. The other thing is getting investments going with the money to build its funds faster.

Why did I bring this post up tonight.. Its been a bit of an odd one since being back in the Philippines I haven’t been 100% since I arrived but hoping I can get back on track in the next few months. I have no doubt most of the cause has been frustration and headaches which have been ongoing since December. Just hope it all starts to settle down.