Medical Volunteering in the Philippines

medical volunteering in the philippines
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I first dipped my toes into volunteering in 2017 when I took a position as a nurse in Skopje, North Macedonia with Project Hope.  (You can read about that here!).  While this has been my only experience with volunteering, I want to highlight other volunteer opportunities for nurses and medical professionals around the world.

I recently spent six weeks traveling through the Philippines and I realized that there are tons of medical volunteer opportunities in the country.  Because the Philippines is made up of over 7,000 islands (meaning the country is spread out throughout the ocean), a lot of people struggle to access basic medical care.  So, if you’re a nurse or medical professional reading this – take this as an opportunity to spend time volunteering in the country and then extending your stay so that you can experience the beauty of the Philippines.

 

If you’re planning on visiting the Philippines, don’t miss…

 

Please note:  I’ve done my best to research and vet these companies.  Please be aware of scams when inquiring about volunteer positions.  Also, I do note condone certain types of volunteer work that hinders the community instead of helping the community.  I have strictly included these companies in this post because they are reputable companies and have an aspect of medical need.

 

Organizations to Volunteer with in the Philippines

Doctors Without Borders

LOCATION:  MANILA

Doctors Without Borders is a well-known NGO throughout the world that provides relief to communities in need.  Since 2021, Doctors Without Borders has been working in Manila – the capital of the Philippines – to screen and help prevent the spread of tuberculosis (TB).  Currently, the Philippines has the fourth highest rate of TB in the world.

 

REQUIREMENTS

  • Minimum availability of 9 months (8-12 weeks for surgeons, anesthesiologists, and OBGYN’s)
  • Previous experience working in a low income setting
  • 3 years of experience for nurses (2 years for doctors)
  • Experience in a leadership role
  • Ability to work and live with a diverse team

 

United Planet

LOCATION:  THROUGHOUT PHILIPPINES | VOLUNTEER HERE

United Planet is a non-profit organization and is the US and Canadian partner of the International Cultural Youth Exchange.  The program in the Philippines was developed in an effort to help with daily medical tasks such as patient consultations, minor procedures, and community health education.  As of 2024, there are mid-term needs (4-16 weeks), long-term needs (6-12 months), and virtual volunteer needs (1-6 months).

Please note:  United Planet does require a payment to volunteer, which may not be the case for other programs listed above.

 

REQUIREMENTS

  • 18-30 years old (upper limit flexible)
  • Citizen of the US or Canada
  • $300 non-refundable deposit to volunteer (this will be applied to your program once you join)
  • Provide proof of medical school or medical practice

 

Volunteering Solutions

LOCATION:  TACLOBAN, LEYTE | VOLUNTEER HERE

Volunteering Solutions was founded in 2006 and has since connected over 21,000 volunteers to projects worldwide.  The company operates in over 25 countries, and offers 150+ programs in areas like childcare, healthcare, and conservation.  As a healthcare volunteer in Tacloban, you will be working in rural areas, serving the underserved communities.  Responsibilities include assisting the local doctor with their daily consults, helping with government initiatives such as vaccinations, deworming, or conducting workshops.  You might also be helping with annual child check-ups.

 

REQUIREMENTS

  • Year-round
  • 4-24 week duration
  • 18+ years old

 

General Requirements for Volunteering in the Philippines

Below you’ll find general requirements for volunteering in the Philippines.  Know that depending on what organization you volunteer for, they may have additional requirements.

  • Must be 18 years of age
  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • Must receive medical clearance
  • Must have a visa if staying for >30 days

 

Philippines Essentials – What You Need & Need to Know About Visiting the Philippines

TRAVELING THROUGH THE PHILIPPINES

  • The easiest way to book bus tickets/ferry tickets in the Philippines is through Bookaway or 12Go
  • To book a flight to the Philippines use a big search engine (like Kayak) to compare prices, then book directly through the airline (if you’re from the US sign up for Going to get free email alerts on flight deals)
  • Download Grab to get a taxi or motorbike (select cities)
  • I highly recommend travel insurance when traveling through the Philippines – I use and recommend SafetyWing
  • If you want an English speaking driver waiting to pick you up at the airport, use Welcome Pickups (select cities only)
  • If you need a SIM card, aloSIM for an easy and affordable e-SIM – use code “KYLEE5” for a discount

ACCOMMODATION IN THE PHILIPPINES

  • To easiest way to book hotels in the Philippines is through Booking.com or Expedia
  • The easiest way to book rentals in the Philippines is through VRBO

TOURS IN THE PHILIPPINES

  • For tours and activities in the Philippines, I recommend using Viator

WHAT TO BRING TO THE PHILIPPINES

 

If you feel called to work as a medical volunteer, the Philippines is an incredible country to do so.  If you have any questions about traveling through the Philippines or what to expect, let me know in a comment below!

 

For volunteer opportunities in other countries, don’t miss…

 

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Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no cost to you.  Passports and Preemies is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees.

 


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Kylee is a NICU nurse passionate about making travel affordable and accessible to nurses. Inspiring nurses to travel both near and far, Kylee began Passports and Preemies in 2017 while volunteering in Skopje, North Macedonia as a way to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Kylee has been a NICU nurse for 9 years and a travel nurse for 7 years. Since starting her career in travel nursing, she’s worked in six different states, 10 different hospitals, volunteered as a nurse in North Macedonia, worked as a nurse in Saudi Arabia, and has traveled to 45+ countries. Her favorite travel nurse assignment was in Seattle and her favorite destination is Georgia (the country). Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – a vacation geared towards nurses who aim to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

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