NATIONAL Economic Development Authority (Neda) Director Dennis Arroyo said that even the next administration will continue to gain from the growing medical tourism industry, which is expected to become a $3-billion industry by 2015.

Arroyo said that around 200,000 foreign patients are expected to come to the Philippines every year, which would tremendously help boost tourism into a $3-billion industry by 2015.

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In 2006, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo started promoting the Philippines as a medical tourism and retirement haven with the issuance of Executive Order 372 which aims to develop the Philippines communication industry, logistics and health and wellness.

The Philippines now ranks among the top countries in medical tourism with the continuous renovation and upgrading of more hospitals to meet international standards.

In the Central Philippines tourism super region, the base of the country's tourism industry, there are now 44 hospitals and health facilities accredited for medical tourism by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Three of these medical facilities have been accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), an international organization providing accreditation for hospitals and other healthcare facilities worldwide.

Arroyo said among our advantages are our state-of-the-art facilities, competent health care professionals with excellent English communication skills, reasonably priced medical services, and the innate hospitality of Filipinos.