|Health and Wellness|
Quezon City is fast evolving as the leader in medical tourism in the Philippines, with 58 hospitals, with a combined bed capacity of almost 9,000. This means a hospital bed to population ratio of 1:341. Four of these hospitals have international health certifications: St. Luke’s Medical Center, National Kidney Transplant Institute, World Citi Medical Center, and The Philippine Heart Center.
Apart from the hospitals, Quezon City boasts of 66 health centers, 739 dental clinics, complemented by a number of physical fitness centers, childcare and development companies, caregiving schools, medical transcription firms, laboratories and other wellness centers.
A good number of spas, massage clinics and alternative healing centers have also sprouted like mushrooms throughout Quezon City. Due to the increasing demand, it’s no longer true that only the rich and famous can afford to pamper themselves. Even ordinary folks can now experience the serene atmosphere inside a sauna bath, or the calming sensation that come from a full-body aromatherapy spa; while the more adventurous can take pleasure in a traditional acupuncture session. The hospitality and attentive service that characterize these facilities are another reason why patrons keep coming back.
Most of these facilities fit nicely into a dense, complementary wellness cluster, making Quezon City the destination of choice for people in need of easy access to quality yet affordable health care. Foreign patients also find comfort in the highly-trained, English-speaking medical personnel. In recent years, Quezon City has developed a niche in the field of hair transplant and hair restoration procedures.
The two City-owned hospitals, Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH) and Novaliches District Hospital (NDH), serve as referral centers for the City’s 60 health centers and other hospitals and clinics. Both pursue the objective of providing the people, particularly the low-income residents, with the best medical care that the City government can afford. The QCGH provides patient treatment, ambulatory and domiciliary care and preventive services, and serves as a center for research and training of health workers and allied professionals.
In 2009, the City government invested P559-million to transform QCGH into a five-storey medical center with a 250-bed capacity. Situated within a 10,000-sqm floor area, the building design—which was a product of a special study team composed of consultants from the Department of Health, as well as doctors, architects and engineers of the City government—ensures that it will have a safety-conscious building design and material finishes, with high seismic and wind factor, fire-resistivity, non-toxic, anti-bacterial, hypo-allergenic, anti-static, sound-absorbent and non-slippery finishes. Beginning early 2010, its patients were able to tap the benefits of modern equipment at very affordable rates.
The Bautista administration, mindful of the huge population in District 2, began to pour investments to improve access to healthcare facilities there. In 2011, Mayor Bautista announced the planned construction of another City hospital, focused on providing modern, diagnostic services, especially for the largely depressed population in Commonwealth and nearby areas. Meanwhile, NDH is being transformed into specialty hospital caring for its prime patient groups, mothers and infants.
Other internationally known hospitals
Of the 61 hospitals in the City, 22 are categorized as tertiary-level hospitals and those with highly specialized staff and technical equipment, including those for complex surgeries.
There are a total of 45 privately-owned hospitals in Quezon City, including St. Luke’s Medical Center, the country’s leading private healthcare institution. The hospital boasts of a 650 bed-capacity and medical expertise of over 1,700 physicians and almost 2,600 non-medical staff that extend excellent care to its patients. It also prides itself of having state-of-the-art technology possessed by no other hospital in the country, such as the 3-Telsa MRI, 256-slice CT scanner, PET scanner and Cyclotron. In 2003, it was accredited by the Joint Commission International, becoming the first hospital in the country and the second in Asia to be so recognized. This accreditation means that patients of the hospital are assured of receiving high quality services at par with those of the best hospitals in the world.
Among the 16 government-owned hospitals are the specialty hospitals of the Department of Health: the Philippine Heart Center, the Philippine Lung Center, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the National Kidney Center and Transplant Institute. Medical practitioners in these hospitals are graduates from top universities of the country, and most of them have undergone further training in the United States before sharing their expertise in the Philippines.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the country. That is why the Philippine Heart Center, the country’s leading healthcare facility for cardiovascular and related diseases, was established in the first place. Created through the efforts of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, the 354-bed hospital was aptly inaugurated on Valentine’s Day of 1975. It is now recognized as one of the busiest Congenital Heart Surgery centers in Asia and it was awarded recently with Accreditation Canada International for excellence in hospital practices and safety. Aside from providing comprehensive patient care program, the Center also offers education and training, research and public information.
The Lung Center of the Philippines is the country’s leading healthcare facility for respiratory and related diseases. On January 23, 1982, the Center was inaugurated with the mission to provide state-of-the-art healthcare service for respiratory and related diseases. Since it opened, the 210-bed healthcare facility continues to provide effective pulmonary care and services to Filipinos and patients from other parts of the region.
Established in 1979, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center was envisioned to be the premier pediatric tertiary healthcare facility in the country. It provides services in almost all areas of pediatric medicine, and has a total capacity of 200 beds. Most of the patients have infectious diseases like diarrhea and respiratory illnesses, while cancer accounts for the second highest number of patients. The Center is strengthening its efforts in providing the best care for children through its different programs like Research and Development, Cancer Research and its Hospice Care Service extended to cancer patients and their families.
The National Kidney & Transplant Institute was established as the National Kidney Foundation of the Philippines in 1981. With a 247-bed capacity, it is the country’s leading healthcare facility for renal and related diseases, and one of Asia’s leading kidney transplant centers. It is the only Philippine hospital specializing in renal organ transplantation, having been a pioneer in different transplant operations both in the country and in Asia. The first liver transplant in the Philippines was performed here in 1988. Other milestones of the Institute are the first double transplant in Asia (kidney and pancreas) in 1988, first bone-marrow transplant in the Philippines in 1990, and the first combined kidney and liver transplant in Asia in 1990. The Institute achieved its 1,000th kidney transplant back in 1994.
Other government hospitals in Quezon City are the Philippine Orthopedic Center and the East Avenue Medical Center. The Philippine Orthopedic Center was established by the Americans in 1945 as the Philippine Civil Affairs Unit No. 1 to take care of civilian casualties during the war. Later, the function of the hospital was redirected to look after accident victims and orthopedic cases. The 700-bed hospital transferred to its present location in Quezon City in 1963. The East Avenue Medical Center was originally named Hospital ng Bagong Lipunan when it was established in 1978. The now 600-bed hospital provides quality and affordable tertiary healthcare services to its patients, especially indigents.
Hydrotherapy at Ace Water Spa
Spas trace their history to the prehistoric practice of traveling to hot or cold springs in the hopes of effecting a cure of some ailment. This ritual can be readily experienced with a visit to Ace Water Spa, the first hydrotherapy spa in the Philippines.
The 3,000-square meter indoor facility is a virtual oasis of various-temperature swimming pools, push-button massage systems, wet steam and sauna rooms, and other spa amenities—making it possible to beat the heat away while getting a full-body massage at the same time. Among the most sought-after facilities is the colossal spa pool that provides 25 kinds of hydrotherapy massages! There’s a notice posted on every massage station that tells which part of the body it’s supposed to focus on, what position the person should be in, and what health benefits can be expected from it. The unique rainfall acupuncture and bubble massage system are top favorites among visitors.
Six hot aromatherapy pools are soaked with lavender, jasmine and mint herbs designed for a nice back and foot massage. Those who prefer ample space for exercise can choose from the nine swimming pools, heated at a range of 30-40 degrees, regardless of weather condition. Water exercise is especially recommended for people with physical disabilities, injuries, diabetes, even high blood pressure because water counteracts gravity and provides gentler resistance.
Kids can play around in the floor fountain, waddle in the kiddie pool with water cannons; and float along the Lazy River that flows around the spa pool. There are also water buckets for kids in the heated pools.
Sports and Fitness
The Amoranto Sports Complex is a 5.8-hectare sports complex built in 1966 at the cost of P2-million. Named after Norberto Amoranto, the longest-serving mayor of the city, the sports complex recently underwent significant renovation and modernization of facilities. The facility features a tennis court, a multipurpose gym, a boxing and weightlifting gym, six badminton courts, facilities for martial arts, and a swimming pool, among others. It also maintains a library that has a nice collection of art books and academic books for all educational levels. In 2005, it was the venue for the cycling track events of the 23rd Southeast Asian Games. The stadium holds 15,000 people.
The Celebrity Sports Club, the fitness center located in Capitol Hills, underwent a multi-billion dollar renovation, and now has an Olympic-sized swimming pool, two smaller pools, four indoor tennis courts, a 16-lane bowling center, three indoor badminton courts, an indoor basketball court, a golf clinic, a spa and health center, a beauty salon, an aerobics and dance hall, a professional-level gym, several restaurants, a bar, an Internet cafe, and a grand ballroom. Other notable sports clubs located in Quezon City are the Capitol Hills Golf and Country Club, located in Broadcast City; the Veterans Memorial Golf Club at North Avenue; and the Camp Aguinaldo Golf Club along EDSA.