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The Executive Treatment

Have you ever thought about going to Manila for an executive checkup? Because I wrote this story about how easy and affordable it is to set one up.

Photo by Robert Tenorio

At St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City, the 7th floor South sees so many patients from Guam that it’s affectionately dubbed the “extension of Chamorro Village” by hospital staff.

Roughly 22,000 residents from Guam seek medical treatment at St. Luke’s Medical Center every year – a monthly average between 1,800 and 1,900 patients split between the St. Luke’s centers in Global City and Quezon City. While many patients are there on medical referrals, the number of Guam residents seeking preventive care in the way of Executive Checkups is on the rise.

St. Luke’s offers five standard wellness center executive checkup packages:

Basic Health screening,
Diabetes screening,
Cardiometabolic screening,
Overweight screening, and
Golden Health screening package that is tailored for patients 50 years old and up.

Each package includes comprehensive blood and urine analysis and an ophthalmologic examination in addition to tests, ultrasounds, and x-rays that are package specific. Packages are affordable for self-pay patients, ranging from 6,196PHP ($122) for basic screening up to 18,585PHP ($364) for Golden Health Screening. Patients can add other tests and examinations to any package at an additional cost.

Photo by Robert Tenorio

Since May 2013, Philippine Medical and Dental Referral Services (PhilMD) in Tamuning has assisted Guam residents with scheduling executive checkups and medical procedures at St. Luke’s. The non-profit organization also assists with booking flights and hotel accommodations and arranging shuttle service between the hotel and medical center.

Different insurance agencies such as SelectCare and NetCare also assist their members with setting appointments with St. Luke’s Medical Center.

“The main reason why this office was opened is to give ease to the patients – especially locals. Many people here in Guam don’t have family members in the Philippines so most of them will need hotel accommodations and shuttle services, especially if it’s their first time to go to the Philippines,” said Annette Garces, PhilMD manager.

“What we do here at Philippine Medical Referral is we schedule the procedures at St. Luke’s and we assist with accommodations and shuttle service. We also provide SIM cards to patients so it will be easier for our driver to locate them,” she added.

The PhilMD service is completely free to patients – patients settle their bills directly with St. Luke’s, the hotel, and the airline. Whenever possible, PhilMD will book patients in hotel rooms located at St. Luke’s Medical Center but if none are available, patients are booked at Resorts World Manila properties at an exclusive rate of $60 per night at the Belmont or $58 per night at Remington Hotel. Resorts World Manila provides free shuttle service between its hotels and St. Luke’s every hour.

Photo by Robert Tenorio

PhilMD scheduled my Cardiometabolic Screening Package, which included blood and urine analysis, ultrasound of liver, gallbladder, kidneys and bladder, a chest x-ray, and treadmill exercise test. The process was surprisingly quick as I was ushered from station to station, and I appreciated not having to spend any time waiting to be seen. I checked in at 7 a.m. and completed all of the tests at 1 p.m.

Some of my test results were available online the next morning, and a complete diagnostic report was available two days later. I had the opportunity to go over the results thoroughly with a doctor who answered my questions and advised on any points of concern. A complete record of my executive checkup results was provided to me as well as a disk with images of my ultrasounds and x-ray.

To schedule an executive checkup, uninsured (self-pay) patients can go directly to the PhilMD office in Tamuning or call 637-5433 to make arrangements. Patients insured with SelectCare, TakeCare, NetCare or StayWell must contact their provider first in order to schedule an executive checkup. PhilMD can also assist with making arrangements for aesthetic and laser eye correction (LASIK) procedures.

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