Reporting from: Manila, Philippines
Here at Nomad Capitalist, I lay out my top suggestions for internationalizing your life and becoming free from the shackles of one country and one government. The world is just too connected and too open these days not to.
One of the steps is purposefully vague: I encourage you to find ways to “nomad-ify” you life. Take stock of your life and find ways to reduce your sovereign risk, lower costs, and increase your global footprint.
The Philippines is just another example of how to make that happen. I just landed here and already am seeing evidence of the thriving medical tourism I knew existed here.
Dentists in particular abound; people from all over the world come here for dental work. While my dentist at home routinely books out as long as a month in advance, dentists here know that efficiency is their best weapon. Appointments can be had as easily as walking in.
Exams are free; the philosophy is that you’ll be using the dentist’s services, so he or she should ascertain what issues exist before charging you. Compared to the $269 “emergency” ten-minute exam I had for a quick filling fix-up before leaving for Hong Kong two years ago, I’d say that’s a bargain.
Here in Manila, fillings can be done for as little as $25 per surface. Crowns, root canals, dentures, even implants, are as much as 75% lower than you’d find in the United States. While you should always exercise good judgment when choosing a medical professional, many of these doctors were trained in the United States or other western nations. English is widespread. Cleanliness is, for the most part, lauded by expats I’ve spoken to.
All the while, the Philippines are home to some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches, and if you’re looking to save money out of cost consciousness rather than necessity, the money you save could fund a rather lavish vacation.
Medical tourism will be one of the big trends of the next one to two decades. For years, foreigners have gone to the United States to seek “the best care in the world”.
While American medical schools may remain among the best, the standard of care is not keeping pace with improvements being made in new, Obamacare-free destinations around the world.
Of course, the US isn’t exactly the most welcoming place for highly skilled immigrants, and many of the students at said medical schools now study in the US, then go home to run a practice – free from the labyrinth of bureaucracy and fear of being sued into the Stone Age.
Expect to see places like Dubai and other rapidly emerging cities in Asia, the Middle East, and perhaps even the Caribbean marketing to affluent foreigners fed up with the new wave of populist health care measures.
While some may be content to wait two years for hip surgery in Canada or the UK – and perhaps soon in the US – don’t think your government can shut down all of your options. Your health is just another way to internationalize your life.
It’s the political equivalent of when one door closes, another one opens. If your government deems you unworthy of quality healthcare of anything else, someone, somewhere will step up with a solution to the problem.