New state-of-the-art dental institute opens

EXPANSION: CebuDoc Group president and chairman Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III shows off the state-of-the-art CebuDoc Dental Institute located at the fifth floor of the hospital’s Medical Arts Building 2. (SunStar photo / Amper Campaña)

CEBU Doctors’ University Hospital has expanded the services offered by its wellness complexby adding a dental facility inside the hospital’s Medical Arts Building 2.

CebuDoc Dental Institute is the second center that opened since the group’s wellness complex was launched in 2018 with the opening of the Center for Aesthetics and Laser.

CebuDoc Group president and chairman Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III said this is the first-of-its-kind hospital-based dental facility in the Visayas.

The facility aims to provide comprehensive and advanced dental diagnostic and treatment services.

“We have been investing to change the healthcare system in CebuDoc Group... we want to provide a holistic type of care and this is part of it, the dental healthcare system,” said Larrazabal.

CebuDoc Group launched on Wednesday, April 10, the state-of-the-art dental facility and introduced the team of dental professionals who will run one of the group’s wellness brands.

The Dental Institute will be headed by Dr. Imelda Montuerto, who is the current dean of Cebu Doctors’ University College of Dentistry.

“We’ve chosen and we’ve got top-notch dentists all under one roof. They are very known and well respected in their respective fields of dentistry” said Larrazabal.

The Dental Institute offers services such as general dentistry, endodontics, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, prosthodontics, oral maxillofacial surgery, dental diagnostic lab services, preventive dentistry, TMD management and periodontics.

According to Larrazabal, the facility is equipped with the latest technology in dental wellness that will make the patient experience more reliable and digitally integrated services.

“We are known to innovate. Whatever is new to the industry, we provide,” he said.

The Dental Institute features a core beam computed technology or CT-scan for dentists, digitalized x-ray system, three dental chairs and operating room.

Dental tourism

Besides making the dental services accessible to the patients, Larrazabal said, he foresees the facility to eventually become a training institution for those dental practitioners taking sub-specialties in dentistry.

“It will not only be an ordinary dental clinic because eventually we will be offering residency program in the different dental specializations,” said Montuerto, chairperson of CebuDoc Dental Institute.

Moreover, Larrazabal said they will be cashing in on the country’s popularity as a medical tourism destination by creating special dental packages for this niche market.

“We are now preparing packages that can be availed by medical tourists, not just by foreign patients but also for the local medical tourism market. CebuDoc is fortunate to have patients coming from the different parts of the country especially from Visayas and Mindanao and we expect the same thing for our Dental Institute,” he said.

Larrazabal added they are also in talks with different medical integrators to help them attract more medical tourists to come to Cebu.

“Since last year, we have been in talks with different medical integrators already. These integrators are also in the medical tourism business in other parts of Asia and we are confident that they can help us in bringing in more medical tourists in Cebu,” he said.

He, however, identified the portability of foreign insurances as one of the challenges to promote medical tourism.

“We are trying to talk to local insurance firms to partner with these foreign insurance firms for patients to maximize our services. We are also in talks with other tourism players like online travel agencies to maximize our online presence abroad,” said Larrazabal.

In June 2018, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that it is going to relaunch the country as a wellness destination.

DOT director for medical and wellness tourism Roberto Abalado III said a technical working group composed of representatives from five government agencies has already been working to revive the industry to draw more medical travelers to come to the Philippines.

“We are still relatively unknown (in the medical tourism sphere) despite the fact that we have one of the best (medical) prices in the world,” said Abalado.

He said the DOT will soon unveil a new branding for this industry.

Healthcare spending

Medical tourism is a $22 billion industry. It is considered a new luxury vacation that targets the health and wellness conscious tourists. This is also another product that can be combined with other tourism products like farm tourism.

Filipinos’ spending on health-related expenditures grew by an average of 8.2 percent per year, from 2009 to 2016, faster than the growth of other consumer spending sub-sectors such as hotels and restaurants (7.3 percent), food and beverage (5.5 percent), communication (5.1 percent), and clothing and footwear (1.4 percent), according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. (KOC)


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