US Medical Outsourcing Firm to Tap Philippine Market

MANILA, Philippines--PlanetHospital, a California-based medical outsourcing firm, plans to launch in mid-2008 a health program tailored for overseas Filipino workers, its founder and president said Tuesday.
Rudy Rupak said in an interview that the program, dubbed “Diaspora,” would allow Filipinos abroad to avail themselves of health plans here at local prices.

“We are in talks with potential partner HMOs and we are definitely launching in the second or third quarter of next year,” he said.

Rupak is on a weeklong visit to check out hospitals, spas and related facilities and meet possible partners for medical tourism.

“There are tremendous opportunities in the Philippines for medical outsourcing,” Rupak said. “I daresay that this industry could be your country’s petroleum.”

He said Diaspora, which would be rolled out first in El Salvador in January, would target in its first year some 60,000 Filipinos based in the United States.

“Someone working in LA, for example, could pay the HMO here by credit card and he can avail himself of basic medical services in the US, but the coverage would be in Philippine cost,” he said.

The same member would have full health plan coverage in the Philippines, he added.

Established in 2002 and incorporated in 2005, PlanetHospital offers 13 destinations to clients, including India, Thailand, Singapore, Israel, Cyprus, Malta, Belgium, Argentina, Brazil, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico and the United
source: (November 21, 2007)