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Department of Tourism Philippines updates dental tourism guidelines

The Department of Tourism of Philippines has updated that dental clinics applying for accreditation for dental tourism must meet the minimum requirements set for secondary tourism enterprises. (Image: Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels)
Dental Tribune ASEAN

Dental Tribune ASEAN

Mon. 18. March 2024

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MANILA, Philippines: The Department of Tourism (DoT) of Philippines has issued its latest guidelines on dental tourism. In a memorandum, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco hailed dental tourism as a high-value tourism product worthy of investment and promotion.

“I am but one of the millions of Filipinos and our friends from all over the world who have benefited from the care, professionalism and expertise of our dentists, dental hygienists and dental technologists who have shown nothing less than excellence, making us so proud of your profession,” Frasco said to The Manila Times. She added that accreditation will ensure quality, safety and adherence to international standards, fostering trust among both local and international patients.

The updated guidelines on dental tourism cover accreditation standards, application procedure, criteria for voluntary accreditation, fee schedule, supervision, disapproval, cancellation and suspension or revocation.

The said memorandum also included dental tour packages, offering various dental procedures and other services such as hotel lodging, transportation, sightseeing, and other leisure activities. According to Frasco, in Inquirer, pairing the country’s quality dental services with tourism would help further promote the country as an attractive tourism destination.

Dental tourism

According to Global Wellness Institute Top Line data for the Philippines from 2019 to 2022 as quoted from Tourism site, the country ranked #8 in the Wellness Economy regional ranking and 20th in the Wellness Economy Global ranking. A 2019 study also identified the Philippines is ranked seventh among countries that provide low-cost dental procedures worldwide.

Based on the rules and regulations, dental clinics applying for accreditation for dental tourism must meet the following minimum requirements set for secondary tourism enterprises:

The clinic must be clean and at a safe and secure location with natural ventilation for the comfort of patients and staff. It should also bear visible name signage, with a clean and functional restroom conveniently accessible. A clinic concierge shall also provide in-house medical services of at least four of the following dental procedures including cosmetic dentistry, dental implantology, orthodontics, endodontics, and prosthodontics.

The reception area must be manned by clinic personnel, with sufficient lighting, seating facilities, internet access, IEC, and other entertainment materials and equipment.

Tourist information or electronic access to the Philippines Travel App must also be made available at the reception area, as well as drinking water, coffee, or tea amenities.

Dental facilities like treatment area, instruments, and equipment as well as emergency care and personnel must be present, showing valid credentials within the premises, accepts different modes of payment, have an official email and website or social media containing clinic profile, operation hours, services offered, dental tour packages, online appointment system, online consultation, and online review and customer feedback.

Prior to issuance of the Certificate of Accreditation, DoT accreditation officers shall evaluate the application and conduct an ocular inspection of the facilities, services, and amenities of the dental clinic applying for accreditation to determine conformity with the minimum standards set by the department.

Dental treatments destination

Talking about dental tourism, Denta Vacation report shows that there are many reasons people prefer the Philippines as a destination for dental treatments. The key ones are: cost, proximity, world-renowned materials, and expertise.

According to the report, people visit the Philippines for a range of dental treatments like implants, crowns, veneers, dentures, etc., which cost $1100, $200, $300, and $500, respectively. Whereas the same procedures cost exorbitant amounts like $4000, $2000, $2000, and $1800 in the US.

The amount spent on root canal therapy, dentures, or teeth whitening in the Philippines is more affordable. People can save up to 75% more than western countries in the US, Australia or Europe. The Philippines thus offers an excellent place for having a dental vacation, especially for those who do not have dental insurance.

Dentist Manila also stated that one of the reasons why is because of the low cost. With dental costs on the rise, Europeans, Australians and Americans began to consider dental tourism in the Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam as an option. And, the Philippines is not only one of the most interesting places to visit in Asia, but also a country where they find experienced  dentists whose years of training resulted in high end dental treatments.

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