Joyce Alumno: Raising Standards, Medical Travel in the Philippines

//Joyce Alumno: Raising Standards, Medical Travel in the Philippines

 

Joyce Alumno, an advocate for global healthcare travel, is dedicated to closing the gap between healthcare and hospitality. While caring for her father at a private hospital, Ms. Alumno was disappointed by the non-clinical services and saw plenty of room for improvement.

Ms. Alumno is the Philippines country manager for Aster DM Healthcare, which is headquartered in Dubai. Since its inception, Aster DM Healthcare has grown from one clinic to over 200 medical establishments. Recently India has become a major player in medical travel, and Aster-DM has opened Aster MedCity, a 40-acre island to serve as a healthcare hub. The medical tourism island has 1,100 beds, and soon will have a hotel and conference center.

She is the founder and executive director of HealthCORE, the center for global healthcare management and medical tourism research and communications in the Philippines. Joyce is also the regional representative for Temos certification of Germany.

Ten-years ago when Ms. Alumno began caring for her father in a private hospital, she observed a multitude of services capable of better quality. At the time Ms. Alumno was managing a 5-star international resort, so she began brainstorming how tourism and healthcare could work together. Through research she found that this partnership was already in progress in other parts of the world. She approached the government to discuss how medical tourism could work for the Philippines.

“I believe there is definitely something for the healthcare sector to learn from the hospitality industry. In healthcare we are too focused on just delivering medication and other clinical services. We somehow lose point of actual care of the patient. Something beyond the clinical care, more of the emotional care. Not just for the patient, but for the family that is actually tending to them, ” says Ms. Alumno.

As fate would have it, three years ago Joyce became involved in the accreditation of hospitals. Last year, Joyce was invited by the Philippine Minister of Tourism to become an assessor for accommodations. “We are at a point when we are trying to combine both the standards for healthcare and hospitality through another certification.”

When asked about the future of medical travel accreditations, Joyce says each country sets its own standards based on its needs. Some countries, like Indonesia, who do not have their own standards often reach out to accrediting bodies in other countries to help create a set of guidelines for their country based on cultural needs. MEDH accredits some organizations in the Philippines. Medical providers in the Philippines like to reach for MEDH certification because of the cultural aspects and cultural sensitivity.

2018-02-02T03:49:03+00:00 0 Comments

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