The Philippines is a part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) community and one of the fastest growing healthcare markets in the region. With regard to healthcare, the Philippine Government has been looking at ways to achieve 100% enrolment to PhilHealth by 2020. One of the means is by mandating all Filipinos to enrol to PhilHealth. Currently, PhilHealth’s coverage is at about 92%. An ageing population, urbanisation, and the rising middle class have led to an increasing demand for healthcare services, as more people can afford quality healthcare. Due to the huge gap in the Philippines’ healthcare delivery system, abundant opportunities are available for key private participants to invest in the healthcare sector. Private hospitals, pharmaceutical producers, and healthcare IT companies are expanding into the Philippines market, partially owing to the recently launched AEC. Lack of infrastructure and human resources is putting a strain on the healthcare delivery system in the Philippines. The bed-to-population ratio is quite low and there is still a huge gap in the number of doctors and nurses required to cater to the needs of the growing population.
The healthcare delivery system in the Philippines is dominated by the public sector (regional, provincial, municipal, and barangay level) while being supported by private healthcare service providers. The implementation of Universal Health Care (UHC) is already driving the demand across all sectors of healthcare. However, the Philippines still requires a strong focus on infrastructure and skilled manpower. The shortage of qualified personnel is a huge problem, especially in high-skill fields such as radiology. The private sector is playing a huge role in helping the government address the gaps in healthcare services. Generics is evolving into a huge market due to the demand for low-cost medicine and strong government support. Production of raw materials for medicines is now 100% open to foreign ownership, creating an opportunity for the Philippines to emerge as a regional raw materials manufacturing hub. Areas such as healthcare technology and diagnostics, that can improve access to health information for making better healthcare choices, are growing faster.
The key components of the Philippines healthcare market are as follows:
Healthcare Industry: An industry that develops and provides solutions and/or services across the care spectrum for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention
• Therapeutics: Pharmaceuticals
• Medical Products: All forms of medical products used in imaging, treatment, and diagnosis of diseases
• Healthcare IT: Consists of software, solutions, and maintenance services sold to providers, but does not include hardware
• Healthcare Services: Primary, secondary, and tertiary care, specialty clinics, and diagnostic lab services