When you’re expecting a newborn, life can be both wonderful and stressful at the same time. This is especially true if you’re on leave as a foreigner or non-resident in another country, no matter if you’re simply a long-term visitor, a tourist, or permanent expat. Medical expenses for prenatal and maternity care can be tricky. This guide will help you navigate what to expect when you’re expecting in the Philippines.
Across the country, about 1 in 10 Filipinos struggle with infertility. Due to these rates, it’s no surprise that the use of IVF has become more common over the past few decades. But it’s not cheap, and most government subsidies won’t cover it.
Can a non-resident or visitor on a visa go through IVF or fertility treatment? Is medical tourism a thing in the Philippines?
Medical tourism, or traveling abroad for medical procedures, is alive and well in the Philippines. The country ranks 8th in the world as the most popular destination for medical tourism. Among the various common medical services sought by tourists or visitors are IVF procedures and fertility treatments. Most of the hospitals catering to foreign IVF patients are in the country’s capital, Manila.
In the Philippines, the local currency is the Philippine peso. It’s sometimes written as PHP or symbolised by ‘₱.’ If you want to make sure you’re understanding the conversion with your home currency, check with an online currency converter.
|IVF fertility treatment in the Philippines||Average cost (PHP)|
|IVF process (total costs)||₱200,000 to ₱400,00|
|In vitro fertilization (IVF) fertility drugs||Part of the built-in cost of total IVF cycle|
|Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)||₱23,000 to ₱28,000|
|Donor eggs retrieval||₱50,000 to ₱60,000|
|Frozen embryo transfer (FET)||₱100,000 or less|
|Embryo storage, yearly||₱120,000 to ₱130,000|
Is there any type of financial assistance or health insurance that will cover part or all of the IVF procedure in the Philippines?
There are no Filipino public or private health insurance carriers that cover IVF treatments. However, various expat or foreign private health insurers may cover the procedures. Different IVF treatment centers may also be able to provide financial assistance if it’s needed. It’s best to check with your own private insurance carrier for IVF coverage for more options.
For more information on IVF and fertility treatments in the Philippines
- Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility
- Health Tourism – IVF in the Philippines
- Kato Repro Biotech Center
Having a baby in the Philippines can be costly, with or without health insurance. Filipinos have access to universal health coverage through the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or PhilHealth. This state-sponsored insurance offers plans that cover hospital deliveries and homebirth and midwifery clinics. Here are some average costs:
- (Public hospital) Total average hospital bill for a regular birth:₱15,000 - ₱20,000
- (Public hospital) Total average hospital bill with a c-section: ₱ 25,000
- (Private hospital) Total average hospital bill for a regular birth: ₱40,000 to ₱50,000
- (Private hospital) Total average hospital bill with a c-section: ₱80,000 to ₱250,000
Can a non-resident or visitor on a tourist or other visa deliver a baby in the Philippines? Is birth tourism a thing in the Philippines?
If you’re a foreign or non-resident visitor or tourist, you’re allowed to give birth in a Filipino hospital. Expats tend to prefer hospitals over home births, due to the higher standards of care in facilities. There are certain hospitals that foreigners prefer, as they are hospitals with Western standards of care - St. Luke’s and Makati Medical Centre are two of them.
Birth tourism in the Philippines isn’t really popular; it’s not generally noted to be one of the countries that people travel to for medical reasons when pregnant.
Long-term foreign residents or expats have access to the state-sponsored health coverage, PhilHealth, which will cover delivery and prenatal treatment for all mothers who will give birth soon.
There’s also a difference in costs between using public or private hospitals, as the latter will likely cost more for delivery services. Most government hospitals have a fairly high standard of operating, just as private hospitals do, but private hospitals will have higher-grade technologies and facilities. Expect to find private hospitals in all the key cities throughout the country.
|Baby delivery medical procedures in the Philippines||Average cost without insurance (PHP)||Average cost with insurance (PHP)|
|Prenatal doctor visit and care||₱700 - ₱1,250 per month||Free after payment of annual premium of ₱2,400|
|Prenatal ultrasound||₱1,150 - ₱4,000||Free after payment of annual premium of ₱2,400|
|Birth and delivery in the hospital||₱15,000 - ₱100,000||Free after payment of annual premium of ₱2,400|
|Cesarean section in the hospital||₱80,000 - ₱170,000||Free after payment of annual premium of ₱2,400, if done at an accredited hospital|
|Home birth and delivery with midwife||Discouraged||Discouraged|
Lately, home births are discouraged, as the Department of Health attempts to implement reforms that lower maternal and neonatal mortality. This policy is somewhat controversial, but it means that most mothers attempt to reach a hospital or medical facility when they’re nearing labour.
If there are no complications, a hospital stay is usually 2 days. With a Caesarian section, you’ll probably have to stay 1-2 days more, as it’s a more complex procedure.
Here are some items you might want to bring to the hospital when you’re about to give birth:
- Any labour aids
- A robe or gown
- A camera
- Information sheets
When you give birth, bring the following documents to the hospital:
- A hospital admission form
- An OB admission slip
- Birth Class Certificate
- A maternity benefit form, if applicable
- Photo IDs for you and your partner
- A marriage certificate (if applicable)
- PhilHealth or HMO Claim Forms
In most cases, the hospital will submit your registration directly to the city hall and the National Statistics Office, which issues birth certificates. Once this process has occurred, you can phone the office and request a birth certificate through the post, or you can visit in-person. There is a small issuance fee.
If I am not an Philippine national but have a baby in the Philippines, will my child have to choose between nationalities or will they get Filipino citizenship?
If your child is born in the Philippines and one parent is a Filipino citizen, then your baby is automatically a citizen of the Philippines. The government does officially recognise dual citizenship.
Working mothers are eligible for 120 days of maternity leave and up to 150 days of leave if they're single mothers. Fathers are eligible for up to 7 days of paternity leave for the first 4 legitimate deliveries of his legitimate spouse.
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Becoming a new parent in the Philippines is a complicated process, so it’s that much more important to do your research ahead of time. Refer back to this guide when you need a resource for addressing your questions and concerns.