Despite the economic slowdown over the past five years, the healthcare industry has been able to maintain steady growth. This is especially true in the Philippines, where last year revenue derived from the outsourcing of healthcare and medical services to the country increased by 55 percent to $430 million. And by the end of 2016, that number is expected to increase to more than $1 billion.
Why the Philippines provides an ideal medical outsourcing climate
There are many elements driving the growth of medical outsourcing to the Philippines. According to Dr. Josefina Lauchengco, president of the Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines, “We recognize the immense potential of the HIM (Healthcare Information Management) sector as different factors contribute to its growth. The Philippines’ competitive advantage in the growing healthcare management services sector is built on the availability of talent pool, strong cultural affinity with the United States, and medical know-how that leads to good customer interaction skills and efficient delivery of niche services.”
Of all the factors cited by Lauchengco, the country’s talent pool may be the most important. With more than 100,000 people graduating annually in medical fields, many of them being nursing, the healthcare industry in the Philippines boasts a deep and knowledgeable population of highly trained medical professionals who can easily fit into a wide array of outsourced medical specialties.
Often, rapid growth is followed by precipitous deflation. However, healthcare appears to be relatively immune to such a development in the coming years. The population in many parts of the world, including many of the largest economies, most notably the United States, is aging rapidly, which will continue to provide opportunities for expansion in the industry.
By providing services across a number of medical fields, including medical transcription, clinical data management, electronic medical records and insurance processing, among others, the Philippines expects to be able to sustain its current rate of growth in HIM. Lauchengco predicts that by 2016 the number of people working in the hospital industry in the Philippines will more than double, going from the current number of 45,000 to approximately 100,000.
The healthcare sector is one of the few in the world right now with expansion seeming likely to continue unabated, and the outsourcing of much of the work necessary to sustain that expansion is not only likely but necessary. The healthcare industry in the Philippines has positioned itself remarkably well to take advantage of those opportunities.
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