Vacationing in Boracay truly is an experience in paradise. The Boracay Island in thePhilippines has been named several times by international tourism agencies as one of the best tropical beaches in the world. The influx of tourists, however, has increased the probability and incidents of health emergencies. Most people are afraid that local island authorities are not capable of taking care of the people’s health in Boracay, and that there are no hospitals that can handle sudden emergences related to health.
Understanding the situation, the local government has put up several medical services and health clinics on the island. The Boracay Medical Clinic, for example, is open 24 hours. Its telephone number is 288-3147.
Sadly, there have been several reports of water accidents and mugging in the island. It is always best for foreign travelers to have local Filipino friends or choose guides that are native to Boracay, since the locals know the ocean currents and island back alleys pretty well.
Just a few years back, the total power capability of the island was not sufficient in providing enough power to so many clubs, hotels and party places at night. This resulted to frequent blackouts that used to be very dangerous to tourists and passersby. Fortunately, this has been improved and Boracay blackouts are no longer so frequent.
The tap water is still a hazard, however. To put it simply, Boracay tap water is not for drinking and should even be avoided when brushing your teeth. Major hotels and restaurants offer sterilized water and stores everywhere sell plastic bottles.
Health facilities and medical centers in Boracay include the Boracay Island Hospital and a number of private clinics. However, they are basic and only helpful in treating minor illnesses and injuries such as cuts, skin rashes, fever, or diarrhea. The Boracay Island Hospital is open 24 hours for emergency situations. Basic laboratory analyses and diagnoses are performed there. It is located at the Boracay main road, and its telephone number is 288-3041. Local residents can call 141.
The Metropolitan Doctor’s Medical Clinic is also located along the main road, near the wet market. The telephone number for this establishment is 288-6357. There are also drugstores available and variety stores regularly sell basic medicines like paracetamol should it be needed.
For rather serious injuries or health problems, though, patients must be transported all the way to Iloilo, Manila or Cebu for treatment. Iloilo city is the closest major city but about a couple of hours away by land. A patient could be brought to Manila or Cebu faster by air.
For the gravest emergencies, the island has a Search and Rescue Team that is capable of transporting an injured patient using a helicopter. Private helicopters also offer their services for a fee. Island Emergency may also be reached at 288-3041.
It has to be said that accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. News of injuries or emergency situations in the island should not stop tourists from visiting one of the best vacation spots in the Philippines. Health in Boracay is not a problem under normal situations and under conscientious self-monitoring by the wise tourist. There are available hospitals and other medical services that can handle sudden emergencies related to health.