Friday, May 2, 2008

The Philippines is fast becoming a popular medical tourism spot. You might ask what the heck is medical tourism? Roughly, the term equates to foreigners in need of expensive medical procedures hopping 0ver to the Philippines to get the procedure done, cheaply.

A friend of mine came over from the US to have a rhinoplasty (plastic surgery of the nose). The procedure cost her a measly 20,000 Php compared to the $5,000-$7,000 cost in the US. I don't see anything wrong in this scenario. She was happy with her new nose. The plastic surgeon was happy with his professional fees.The procedure did not have any detrimental effect on the Philippines or its inhabitants. What bothers me though, is the increasing sale of body parts, the kidney, in particular.

Foreigners are coming over to the Philippines to have kidney transplants. The beauty of the procedure for the foreign patients are: 1. Philippine doctors are highly qualified; 2. the procedure is a lot less expensive; 3. there are agents to scour the squatter areas of Manila to look for likely donors.

Yes. One again, the Filipinos are being exploited. A kidney fetches at a lowly 75,000 Php -100,00 Php less the 10,000 Php - 12,000 Php agent's fee. Majority of Filipinos have type o+ blood that makes us ideal universal donor. As of now, the government has put a ban on transplant between unrelated patient and donor. This might curtail the rampant buying and selling of kidneys but it will not totally stop the racket.

As long as there are foreigners willing to pay; as long as there are doctors willing to do the procedure; as long as there are indigents who desperately need the money; the kidney trade will not stop.


photo courtesy
Reactions:
Posted by desperateblogger On 5/02/2008 09:06:00 AM 3 comments

3 comments:

  1. It is a little disturbing to read your post and at the same time a feeling of helplessness. You are right, "As long as there are foreigners willing to pay; as long as there are doctors willing to do the procedure; as long as there are indigents who desperately need the money; the kidney trade will not stop."

    When bread and butter is the foundamental issue, it is challenging to tackle the moral aspect of it. Tackle the bread and butter issue and it would indirectly tackle the kidney trade issue. The ban is a must but as you said, it will not totally stop the racket. God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The signs of poverty are staring us before our noses. Yet the administration, as usual, is late in picking up the scent of it. Might as well demand for a rhinoplasty for them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. this trade of kidney buying only only reflects poverty in our society...they will sell even their internal organs just to provide food in their table....

    ReplyDelete

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