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Expat Investor : April 2008
Would you want to know that, no matter where you were in the world, you would be taken to the best place for treatment? To get the feeling, there’s only one number to call. Choose our repatriation and evacuation option Call +44 (0) 1273 208181 www.bupa-intl.com Your calls will be recorded and may be monitored “ I love the feeling that I will be flown home if I need to be ” The above example draws from the experiences of a number of our members or staff; it is not intended to represent the details of any specific individuals or their circumstances. consider is the vaccinations required before you travel to the Philippines. www.netdoctor.co.uk recommends that you receive the following inoculations: ? Typhoid – 10 days before ? Hepatitis A – two weeks before ? Diphtheria – three months before ? Tuberculosis – three months before ? Hepatitis B – two months before ? Rabies – one month before ? Japanese B encephalitis – one month before. You might need to produce a HEALTHCARE expatinvestor.com 14 EXPAT INVESTOR ? April 2008 Fast Facts 44008 Fast Facts 44410 Fast Facts 44411 The Philippines are made up of more than 7,100 islands, with the bulk of its population living on 11 of them. People living in the Philippines enjoy a tropical climate. The sun shines most days, but the islands are less hot and humid than other tropical countries. The most pleasant time of year is between November and March, when the heat is made more bearable by cool and fresh breezes. However, it is vital that you protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays and dehydration by taking precautionary measures such as applying sunscreen, wearing a hat and drinking plenty of fluids to keep your body well hydrated, as the average temperature in the capital, Manila, is around 27 degrees centigrade (80 degrees Fahrenheit). Although the Philippines enjoy good weather for most of the year, it is worth remembering that they also have a typhoon season, which normally runs from July to November, and that flooding and landslides may occur. Lonely Planet advises that, “The 2007 typhoon season wreaked widespread damage to the Philippines. Although recovery efforts are underway, travellers should monitor local news for any updates.” In addition to the typhoons, there is a possibility of the islands being hit by minor earthquakes. With the Foreign and Commonwealth Office estimating that there are 89 million people living in the country, there is bound to be pressure put on its natural resources, such as the water system. For example Manila, which has an estimated 10.4 million residents, has grown to great proportions in a short length of time. The large population growth has meant that certain sanitation and waste disposal systems are struggling to remain working. This has led to unpleasant overspills into the drinking water. Therefore, it is extremely important for you to either avoid drinking the tap water and only consume bottled water or ensure the water is boiled and sterilised before drinking. Taking this fast increase in population into account, it is not surprising, then, that the country’s health system is also being put under pressure. Medical care in the Philippines varies across the country and the standards are lower than those in the UK and other western nations. The medical facilities in the capital and other large cities are adequate, although medical care is limited in the more remote areas. Another issue placing pressure on the country’s state health system is the lack of doctors and nurses. This is due to the high number of medical professionals leaving the Philippines to work in other countries in order to obtain a much greater financial income. According to www.voanews.com, “Experts estimate more than 100,000 nurses have left since 1994,” and that, “There are estimates that about 1,000 hospitals have closed in the past five years because of a shortage of doctors.” It is also worth noting that there is no reciprocal health agreement in place between the UK and the Philippines. Therefore, you may have to pay for the medical treatment for you and your family and this can be very expensive. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office “strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake”. When selecting your private medical insurance provider and policy, you might want to ensure that the benefits include emergency evacuation and repatriation. This will enable you to be transferred to the nearest country that can provide you with the necessary care, should you not be able to receive it in the Philippines. Another key factor to Health issues in the Philippines Telltale signs of bronchitis A country profile from AXA PPP Healthcare In this regular column on medical conditions, Torben Staehr, Medical Director, BUPA Copenhagen, explains bronchitis. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the large bronchi, the medium-size airways in the lungs. It can lead to pneumonia or asthma. Bronchitis can take two forms – acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis can be caused by viruses or bacteria and usually follows a cold, sore throat or influenza, most often in winter. It is usually characterised by a cough and sputum production because the airways are obstructed by phlegm and result in a shortness of breath and wheezing. There is also the possibility that bronchitis can be brought on by breathing a polluted atmosphere or by smoking. Fast Facts 44007 certificate of vaccination for yellow fever if you are planning on entering the Philippines from an infected area. There is a risk of malaria, so appropriate preventative medicines and mosquito repellent will need to be used.Finally, as with all countries that require you have vaccination, requirements may vary from time to time. In light of this, you will need to check with your doctor within plenty of time of your departure date. Chronic bronchitis is very common as a winter flare-up for some people. Chronic bronchitis is not necessarily caused by infection but is generally part of a syndrome called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); it is defined clinically as a persistent cough that produces sputum (phlegm) and mucus for at least three months in two consecutive years. Chronic bronchitis is virtually confined to cigarette smokers. Both types of bronchitis may be indicated by a chesty cough, shortness of breath and wheezing. Occasionally chest pains, fever and fatigue or malaise occur. Mucus is normally green or yellowish green. A stethoscope will reveal added sounds during diagnosis. These include wheezed crackles and musical notes of different pitches indicating spasms, of the bronchial tubes. In most cases, acute bronchitis is caused by viruses, not bacteria and it will go away on its own without antibiotics. Any secondary infection may be treated with antibiotics and usually responds well. Taking painkillers, such as paracetamol, may be suggested and it is always advised to give up smoking. Codeine is often used to suppress coughing but should only be taken during the night to aid sleep. It is important that sputum is cleared from the lungs through coughing, reducing the risk of bronchitis developing into pneumonia. There is no cure for chronic bronchitis, but healthy living, especially the avoidance of smoking, will help. Bronchitis normally settles within a week or two, but there is always the risk ,particularly in cigarette smokers, that the condition could progress into chronic bronchitis, which results in inevitable winter flare-ups.
May June 2008