On June 24 and 25 the Marianas Manila Medical Symposium sponsored by this Journal and the Guam Medical Society will welcome doctors from the top medical facilities in Manila.

For two days these 17 visiting medical professionals with the highest qualifications experience and ingenuity will speak to organizations and individuals eager to hear what they have to offer.

What the doctors from the Philippines bring us is the prospect of the best care for any condition procedure wellness check or elective you can imagine.

And all that is on offer in an attractive location a mere three hours from Guam.

We all know a number of businesspeople from Micronesia who have gone to the Philippines for everything from heart surgery to eye surgery to plastic surgery. So in a way it’s hard to believe that the trend for patients to be sent to Manila is really only beginning.

More and more companies and families are coming to realize that Manila has much to offer while health care costs continue to rise. The cost of any treatment in the Philippines you care to name is vastly more economical than any similar procedure in Hawaii or the U.S. mainland. And the cost of a ticket to Manila compared to either destination may mean the comfort of a loved one becomes feasible for many of our citizens. So the trend is only going to grow.

Health insurance providers also have noticed the benefits and success of sending patients to the Philippines and now have liaison offices to smooth the way of Micronesia’s patients.

While economies of scale in the Philippines are a factor if Guam Memorial Hospital had accreditation and was a facility to be proud of perhaps our doctors would be going off to tout for business in Asia.

The idea of a medical center of excellence on Guam is presently but a dream.

Instead the hospital is a facility where you can’t fire people where the top job is a political appointment and where just about everything needs money and attention.

If you read the Q&A with Dr. Vince Akimoto president of the society you can feel his passion and pain at the present situation with health care on Guam.

The Guam Medical Society members are smart enough and pragmatic enough to take advantage of the top-level international experience of their colleagues from the Philippines. Thank goodness we have the Philippines to fall back on.