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New Law In Philippines Aims To Enhance Government Response To HIV-AIDS

MEDICAL - Philippines
January 2019

The Philippine government is going to strengthen its response to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases as President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Republic Act 11166, or the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018.

The new law aims to be a landmark legislation to curb the prevalence of HIV and AIDS and reduce the stigma of people with such illness. According to a recent report by the Department of Health (DOH), the country has the highest percentage increase of HIV cases from 2010 to 2016 in Asia-Pacific Region. In addition, there were 954 new cases recorded last November 2018, where 18% are in an advanced stage, most of whom are male with an average age of 27 years old.

Some of the general provisions under this law as summarized by several news outfits are:

  • Mandates the government to allocate more funds to promote HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment and require education about public health concerns in schools and communities
  • DOH would establish a program for free and accessible anti-retroviral treatment and medication for people living with HIV.
  • Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) will be reconstituted and streamlined to ensure the implementation of the country’s response to the HIV and AIDS situation.
  • Mandates the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to develop a benefit package to include coverage for inpatient and outpatient medical and diagnostic services, including medication and treatment.
  • Requires all schools to teach students of the causes, modes of transmission and prevention of HIV, AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infection.
  • The government will encourage voluntary HIV testing
  • HIV test will be compulsory if a person is charged with a violation of the Anti-Rape Law of 1997; when it is necessary to resolve issues under the Family Code of the Philippines; and if a person wants to donate blood.
  • Minors under the age category of 5 to under 18 could consent to voluntary HIV testing without the approval of their parents or guardians, as previously required under Republic Act 8504.

(Sources: CNN Philippines, Manila Standard, Manila Bulletin)

Philippines Government Creating Cancer Control Program

MEDICAL - Philippines
November 2018

the Philippines Senate had passed the National Integrated Cancer Control Act (Senate Bill 1850) seeking to institutionalize an integrated cancer control program in the country. The bill aims to address the gaps in cancer care through:

  • Establishment of a National Integrated Cancer Control Council to focus on implementing programs, not only for providing comprehensive and affordable cancer treatments but also to work on minimizing cases that are preventable.
  • Creation of Philippine Cancer Center (PCC), under the supervision of the Philippine General Hospital, for the treatment and accommodation of patients, and conducting research with universities, hospitals and institutions for cancer prevention and cure.
  • Establishment of a Cancer Assistance Fund to assist on medicines and treatment by ensuring a steady supply of cancer drugs and cancer-control related vaccines.
  • Expansion of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)'s  benefit packages to include screening, detection, diagnosis, treatment assistance, supportive care, survivorship follow-up care and rehabilitation, and end of-life-care, for all types and stages of cancer in both adults and children.
  • Requiring Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) to cover genetic counseling and testing, cancer screening, diagnostic and palliative care.
  • Using the State-run Social Security System (SSS) and the disability benefits of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to cover the compensation of cancer-related absences from work of member-employees and voluntary members through their sickness and disability benefits.

Ultimately, the bill would mandate the Department of Health (DOH) to encourage individuals living with cancer to undergo the necessary treatment and care.

(source: Rappler, Senate)

DoubleDragon Inks Partnership With MyHealth For Clinics In CityMalls

MEDICAL - Philippines
October 2018

Newly-listed real estate development company, DoubleDragon Properties, which owns CityMalls in the country, announced a  partnership with MyHealth to house outpatient multi-specialty clinics inside CityMalls.This strategic tie-up aims to make CityMalls a one-stop outlet offering retail shopping, food chains, entertainment cinemas and now medical clinics especially for the communities in the provinces. The first batch of clinics will be built across the country in the next 12 months: 4 in Luzon, 4 in Visayas, and 4 in Mindanao regions.  

MyHealth Clinics, a subsidiary of Equicom Group and affiliate of HMO-provider Maxicare Healthcare Corporation, operates a large network of full-service ambulatory clinics employing about 500 medical specialists providing comprehensive healthcare products and services.

DoubleDragon targets to build 100 CityMalls covering 700,000 square meters by 2020. Currently, there are 32 malls spread throughout the country, particularly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in the provinces, as the company seeks to position itself as the number one mall operator in rural areas. CityMalls is partly owned by SM Investments Corporation, the largest mall developer, through a 66:34 joint venture partnership.  

(Sources: Manila Times; Business World; DoubleDragon Properties Group)

IFC Invests USD 40 Million In Fullerton Health Philippines

MEDICAL - Philippines
September 2018

Fullerton Health Philippines Holdings Corporation and Fullerton Health Philippines Pte. Ltd., two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Singapore-based Fullerton Health, have secured a USD 40 million investment in the form of a long-term loan facility from World Bank member group, International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The investment from IFC will enhance the provision of affordable, quality healthcare in the Philippines and enhance efficiencies in the health maintenance organisation (HMO) market through increased integration between the financing and provision of healthcare. HMOs are private providers of healthcare insurance, providing access to doctors within their network. The funding will also be used to provide training opportunities for health practitioners. 

In May 2018, Fullerton Health entered the Philippine market by acquiring 60% stake in the Intellicare Group. The acquisition reinforces Fullerton’s strategy of expanding its presence in markets across the Asia Pacific region.  Intellicare Group is comprised of three (3) companies: Asalus Corporation, engaged in the delivery of health maintenance organization (HMO) services, Avega Managed Care Incorporated, a third-party service provider for corporate clients, and Aventus Medical Care Incorporated, which operates a network of outpatient and mobile clinics.

The financing is in line with IFC’s goal of financially supporting long-term sustainable development projects as it sees addressing wide gap in health insurance coverage crucial in the Philippines. The growth of Intellicare and other companies in this segment is expected to reduce low and middle-income households’ reliance on out-of-pocket payments to fund healthcare expenses.

(Sources: Manila Bulletin; International Finance Corporation)

Department of Health Philippines Backs Higher Tobacco Excise Tax

MEDICAL - Philippines
August 2018

The DOH has expressed support for the passage of Senate Bill 1605 seeking to levy higher excise tax on tobacco products to PHP 90.00 (USD 1.7) per pack. Excise tax on tobacco is currently pegged at PHP 32.50 (USD 0.6).

The DOH said that this will generate about PHP 45 billion (USD 840 million) in government revenue and will contribute towards funding for the Universal Healthcare Bill (UHC) once it is passed into law. Revenues collected from sin taxes and mining taxes will provide additional funding. The UHC aims to provide all Filipinos access to health services, medical facilities, and cheaper medicines all to be subsidized by the national government. 

PhilHealth, the government-owned corporation mandated to provide health insurance coverage and health services to citizens, will play a vital role in the implementation of UHC. According to the DOH, all families will be enrolled in PhilHealth whose membership premiums will be automatically subsidized by the national government.

85% of the proceeds from excise tax collection will go to the health sector. Of the 85%, 80% will automatically fund the PhilHealth while the remaining will be allocated for the development of health facilities and medical assistance to indigent patients. An estimated PHP 305 billion (USD 5.7 billion) will be needed to fund the UHC program.

(Sources: Rappler; Philippine News Agency)

DepEd And DoH Philippines Developing Mobile Apps For Monitoring Dengvaxia Recipients

MEDICAL - Philippines
July 2018

The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines are working together for the development of two systems that will enable the government to monitor the condition of students previously administered with the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia®.

In April 2016, tthe DOH launched the school-based dengue vaccination campaign in the Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Metro Manila regions, where more than 800,000 students received at least one dose of the dengue vaccine developed by French vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur. The government paid PHP 3.5 billion (USD 66 million) for the vaccine. The programme was suspended in November 2017, following an announcement by Sanofi Pasteur of new clinical data analysis showing that the vaccine is more risky for people not previously infected by the virus. For those people, it could result in more cases of severe disease occuring after vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection.

Through an agreement, DepEd and DOH have entered into a data-sharing and outsourcing agreement with Indra Philippines Inc., who will develop the Register, Serve, Validate, Plan (RSVP) system using the Microsoft Kaizala™ collaboration platform; and Galileo Software Services Inc., who will develop the Dengue Vaccine Monitoring System (DVMS) using their proprietary Abizo® collaboration platform. Both companies will provide the services for free as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts.

Parents, guardians, and teachers will be able to download the mobile apps to report the conditions of the learners, share concerns and queries, and also receive updates from the DOH and DepEd. . Data of critical incidents will help DepEd and DOH in providing immediate treatment or observation whenever necessary. 

DOH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said, "These apps are crucial to the effectiveness of surveillance and monitoring systems that the DOH has put in place. So I want to thank DepEd for this initiative under the leadership of Secretary Briones and of course, Usec. Pascua, and our partner institutions in putting together these very, very important apps."

The project is planned to be implemented before the end of August.  The two IT firms have provided assurance of full technical support on the project.

(Sources: Department of education, Philippines; UNTV; Manila Times; CNN Philippines)

 

Department Of Tourism Promotes Medical Tourism In The Philippines

MEDICAL - Philippines
June 2018

The Department of Tourism (DOT) in the Philippines has proposed to grant a six-month medical visa for foreigners whose main purpose are to get medical treatment and medical surgery. This proposal is aimed at promoting the Philippines as a medical travel and wellness destination.

Currently most of the medical tourists in Philippines come from the US, Canada, Indonesia, Pacific Island Nations, Palau, Guam, Middle East, and Australia.

The country competes with its neighoburs Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, and lags them in the development of the medical tourism industry despite having an 8.2% annual average growth of health-related expenditure, a growth faster than in other consumer spending sub-sectors 7.3% from hotels and restaurants 5.5% from food and beverage, 5.1% from communication, and 1.4% from clothing and footwear.

The Philippines is placed 16th in the medical tourism industry, 19th in the quality of facilities and services and 19th in global ranking among the destinations ranked by the Medical Tourism Index. Investment in areas such as infrastructure and services, better air connectivity, quality assurance, and aggressive marketing could boost growth for the industry.

DOT, in partnership with Philippine Airlines, also aims to bring in medical practitioners and insurance companies from Papua New Guinea who want to visit and access Manila hospitals. 

(Sources: SunStar Cebu, Manila Bulletin)

Department of Health Seeks PHP 1.5 billion Supplemental Budget For Dengvaxia Vaccinees

MEDICAL - Philippines
May 2018

The Department of Health (DOH) requested the Congress an additional funding of US$28.6 million to address the needs of the Filipino children who were given Dengvaxia vaccine, the world’s first anti-dengue vaccine. The DOH has since suspended its national dengue vaccination program after Sanofi Pasteur issued a belated advisory on the risk that the vaccine poses to people who have not had previous dengue infection. Sanofi Pasteur has accepted the request of the DOH to refund a US$22.1 million worth of unused Dengvaxia vaccine. The vaccine was already given to about 830,000 children in Metro Manila, Southern Luzon, Central Luzon, and Central Visayas under the government's dengue vaccination program. 

The budget request will be used for the following:

  • US$ 1.6 million for the medical assistance program of Dengvaxia patients
  • US$ 14.8 million for outpatient care packages
  • US$ 1.3 million for the deployment of nurse-health education and promotion officers
  • US$ 5 million for the proposed active case finding (project-based profiling/navigation of vaccinees)
  • US$ 5.1million for the distribution of medical kits to Dengvaxia vaccinees.

More nurses are also planned to be hired in the Metro Manila, Central Luzon, the Southern Tagalog region, and Cebu province. These nurse are to focus on profiling, monitoring and disseminating information and coordinating all actions of the vaccinees including their parents, to all existing health facilities and at the same time, manning hotlines for public queries.

(Sources: ABS CBN news; The Philippine Daily Inquirer)

IFC May Extend USD 40 Million Loan To Finance Acquisitions By Fullerton Health Philippines

MEDICAL - Philippines
April 2018

Fullerton Health Philippines Holdings Corp (FHPC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Fullerton Healthcare Corporation, may receive an extended debt financing of USD 40 million from International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support its 60% controlling acquisition stake from Intellicare Group of Companies. According to IFC, FHPC plans to put up a vertically integrated managed healthcare platform in the Philippines that will comprise Intellicare, as well as the rollout and acquisition of related healthcare providers.

IFC believes that FHPC’s cash generation potential fits to its long-term investment horizon. With over 100 million people and attractive growth drivers, the Philippines is an important market for FHPC.

(Sources: Deal Street Asia)

Molecular Testing Services In The Philippines

MEDICAL - Philippines
March 2018

Netherlands-based molecular testing solutions provider Qiagen has opened the Qiagen Business Services (QBS) Manila, its new Shared Service Center in the Philippines. QBS Manila will provide services related to Supply Chain Management, Customer Care and Accounting as well as Technical Services and other sales support activities to QIAGEN's global operations and complements QIAGEN’s existing Shared Service Center in Wroclaw, Poland, which since its opening in 2013 grew to more than 350 employees. 

Supporting QIAGEN businesses specifically in the United States and the APAC region, QBS Manila is expected to play an important role in the global provision of services to the company and its clients. Total headcount in QIAGEN’s Manila site is estimated to reach approximately 200 over the next 18 months, spanning support functions from Technical Service, Customer Care, Finance, HR, Sales Support, and other fields.

(Source: Qiagen)

Philab Brings Italian Maker Of Pharma Machines Into The Philippines

MEDICAL - Philippines
February 2018

Philab Industries Inc, the subsidiary of Philab Holdings Corp, signed a partnership agreement with Italian company Industria Macchine Automatiche S.p.A (IMA) to exclusively distribute automated machineries for the processing and packaging of pharmaceutical products in the Philippines. Philab has already sold units to Pascual Labs and Amherst Laboratories Inc. (UNILAB) in the Philippines.

The partnership comes on the back of a growing demand by pharmaceutical companies for high technology equipment to produce large quantities of quality and consistent tablets and capsules for the Philippine market IMA's decision to select Philab to be its sole distributor in the country was attributed to its reputation and performance for 59 years in the industry.

According to GlobalData, the Philippine pharmaceutical market is the third-largest pharmaceutical market in South east Asia, after Indonesia and Thailand, and is expected to be valued at USD 4.1 billion by 2020.

(Sources: Business Mirror, BusinessWorld)

Singapore’s Clearbridge Health Enters The Philippine Medical Market

MEDICAL - Philippines
January 2018

Singapore's healthcare group, Clearbridge Health, made good on its proposition this January 2018 to expand in the Philippines. It has just recently acquired 65% of the Philippine company, Marzan Health Care, Inc. Marzan is a comprehensive ambulatory medical center founded in March 2015 to provide affordable health care to patients in the Philippines. The Group owns and operates the Marzan Health Care Diagnostic Centre in Manila, which provides a wide range of services including pathology services, imaging diagnostics, dental care, as well as dialysis and renal care.

According to the company, the Philippines remains a vastly untapped market for the provision of precision medical healthcare services. It sees huge potential to establish a strong foothold in the precision medicine space on the back of rising affluence amongst a significant segment of the populace. This acquisition will provide Clearbridge with a suitable platform to rapidly scale up its presence in the Philippines as Marzan Health Care already possesses the required licenses to provide a wide range of medical services. It will also leverage Marzan Health Care’s existing network to distribute Clearbridge’s suite of precision medical products and services which will generate revenue synergies for the Group.

(Source: Clearbridge Health)

Fullerton Health Announces Philippines Market Entry

MEDICAL - Philippines
December 2017

Singapore-headquartered Fullerton Healthcare Corporation Limited (Fullerton Health) announced that it has entered into agreements to acquire a 60% stake in the Intellicare Group, one of the leading managed care providers in the Philippines. The Philippines is an important market in Asia Pacific for Fullerton Health, underpinned by attractive underlying growth drivers. Completion of the transaction is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions and is expected to complete in early 2018.

The Philippines, which would be the eighth country for Fullerton Health in the Asia-Pacific Region, has a population of over 100 million people, offers great growth potential for the company. In terms of partnership, the potential synergies between the two businesses will enable them to deliver increased benefits and services to even more corporates and patients across the country and reinforces Fullerton’s strategy of developing a strong presence in markets across the region. Fullerton Health owns more than 227 medical centres across seven countries and has a network of more than 8,000 medical providers around the world. 

(Sources: Fullerton Healthcare Corporation Limited; Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Sectra Inks Distribution Deal With Medical One

MEDICAL - Philippines
November 2017

International medical imaging IT and cybersecurity company Sectra has entered into a partnership with Medical One Corporation, a leading provider of medical equipment in the Philippines. The distribution agreement with Medical One includes Sectra's Enterprise Image Management solutions comprised of PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) for imaging-intense departments, VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive) and solutions for sharing and collaborating around medical images.

The Philippines has approximately 400 regional and university hospitals that take care of more than 100 million habitants. 60% of the radiology medical specialty in the country is now digital. Its healthcare market is expanding its ability to share and collaborate around medical images and patient information and telemedicine initiatives.

(Source: Sectra)

Ayala Corporation Scouts For Healthcare Investments

MEDICAL - Philippines
October 2017

Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health) has announced its plans to continue investments in the healthcare space, including future investments in hospitals, financing, and health technology. This is alongside its aggressive expansion plans for Generika drugstores, and FamilyDOC primary care clinics. Since establishing a partnership with AC Health in July 2015, Generika has expanded to over 700 stores nationwide. It has also developed new store formats, such as the larger Health & Wellness Store in Signal Village, Taguig, which houses the new FamilyDOC Express, a joint pilot between Generika and FamilyDOC, which will co-locate a doctor’s clinic in a pharmacy.

FamilyDOC, for its part, is poised to become the largest primary care clinic chain in the Philippines, now with 15 sites in Cavite, Las Piñas, Parañaque, and Pateros. Since it opened in December 2015, FamilyDOC has served over 40,000 unique patients in predominantly middle-class communities. FamilyDOC will have a total of 50 clinics in 2018 as it expands to Laguna, Pasig, Taguig, Rizal, & Quezon City. It is also exploring franchising opportunities to boost its expansion further.

AC Health is now looking to invest in hospitals & financing in parallel with its continued expansion in retail health. These future investments would complement its current retail health portfolio. AC Health also continues to seek investments in innovative health technology. In February 2017, it invested in MedGrocer, a local start-up operating an FDA-licensed online pharmacy. To date, Med-Grocer has provided medicines and vaccinations to over 24,000 people. In addition, AC Health has rolled out its proprietary Electronic Medical Records system with data analytics capabilities in FamilyDOC clinics.

(Source: AC Health)

Philippines An Attractive Prospect For MedTech Companies

MEDICAL - Philippines
September 2017

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp’s (PhilHealth) mandate to increase its coverage from 92% to 100% of the population is expected to drive demand for quality healthcare that is both affordable and accessible. In anticipation of the surge in demand for healthcare services, the Philippines has launched an ambitious program to develop and upgrade its healthcare facilities to ensure equitable access to healthcare across the country.

For 2018, the Department of Health has secured a healthcare budget of PHP 103.6 billion (USD 2.1 billion) in which PHP 29 billion (USD 583.8 million) will be allotted for the enhancement of health facilities and PHP 6.8 billion (USD 136.9 million) will be allotted to purchase hospital equipment. The proposed health facilities enhancement program budget will be used to build 1,497 barangay health stations and improve 353 hospitals, which will fuel growth in the medical technologies sector. As the Philippines is almost fully reliant on imports of medical devices, abundant opportunities are available for medical device companies to meet the country’s growing demand. A confluence of factors, from a growing medical tourism sector, a burgeoning hospital sector and increased patient affluence, has made the Philippines an attractive prospect for medtech companies.

(Source: Department of Health)

Philippine Healthcare Provider Bullish On Cebu’s Medical Tourism

MEDICAL - Philippines
August 2017

Philippine-based Maayo Medical is optimistic on the growing medical tourism sector in the island of Cebu given its strategic location and its growing numbers of foreign visitors, led by Korea, Japan, and the US. Maayo Medical has spent over a billion pesos to build a medical facility in its goal to be a key player in the healthcare sector in South East Asia. The Department of Health has already endorsed Maayo Medical as the first medical tourism facility outside of the capital, Manila.

Maayo Medical has also invested in innovative health systems and medical equipment in addition to a modern building that will achieve LEED gold status. This investment is aligned with the company's goal of adapting to ASEAN integration. Cebu boasts of healthcare providers with a high level of English communication skills that make it an attractive location for medical and dental tourism.

(Source: Cebu Daily News)

German Dialysis Firm To Expand Presence In The Philippines

MEDICAL - Philippines
July 2017

Germany-based Fresenius Medical Care AG and Co plans to open four more clinics in the Philippines by end-2017, according to the Department of Trade and Industry. Fresenius Medical Care, which operates 21 dialysis clinics all over the country, has opened its shared service center in Alabang in 2015, servicing the accounting and finance operations of 30 countries. From a staff complement of 77 in 2017, Fresenius Medical Care will increase this to 130 employees in three years.

(Sources: Manila Times, BusinessWorld)

PSC Begins Procurement Of Medical Equipment Worth PHP 100 Million

MEDICAL - Philippines
June 2017

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has started its procurement of modern and high-end medical equipment worth PHP100 million (USD 1.97 million) from the United States and Europe. The medical equipment, which are used for kinesiology and chemodynamic procedures, are the same ones that are only available in high-tier hospitals like St. Luke’s Medical Center.

At present, the PSC is splurging on the needs of the national athletes as a way to support them to win medals. The PSC is also looking at upgrading the training facilities at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Philsports and the Teachers Camp here, not including the plan to construct a separate training center in Clark, Pampanga.

(Source: The Philippine Star)

HK firm To Develop Hospital And Retirement Facility In The Philippines

MEDICAL - Philippines
May 2017

The Manila Times College has awarded a USD 75 million management contract to Global Healthcare Homes Limited (GHHL) of Hong Kong to develop, manage, and operate a related hospital and retirement facility on an exclusive basis.

Under the agreement, the GHHL group will set up housing facilities and other support amenities exclusively for the Japanese market. Once completed, the retirement facility will provide the retirees affordable and quality health care services, convenience stores, restaurants, entertainment facility, duty free shop, and even banking services. The hospital will be redesigned and refurbished according to Japanese standards and new medical equipment will be brought in to better serve the Japanese clientele.

The GHHL group will also develop, manage and operate the existing George Dewey Medical & Wellness Center. GHHL will bring in Japanese physicians who will serve as consultants, and at the same time, bring in brand new medical equipment from Japan. This will be the first and only retirement facility with a base hospital in the country.

(Source: The Manila Times, Manila Bulletin)

DND Set To Acquire Medical Equipment

MEDICAL - Philippines
April 2017

The Department of National Defense (DND) is allocating PHP 294.3 million (USD 5.8 million) for the acquisition of three major items needed for the improvement of the services currently being offered by the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Medical Center located in Quezon City.

These items are one cardiac-catheterization laboratory system, one hyperbaric chamber and a magnetic resonance imaging system. The acquisition will be done through a wherein winning bidder are required to deliver cardiac-catheterization laboratory system within 180 days; hyperbaric chamber at 300 days and magnetic resonance imaging system at 180 days.

(Source: The Philippine Canadian Inquirer)

Ayala To Build 500-Bed Hospitals In Manila

MEDICAL - Philippines
March 2017

QualiMed, the healthcare unit of Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp, plans to streamline healthcare services in Manila suburbs by way of building 500-bed hospitals that will integrate large facilities with a network of small clinics.

QualiMed will open its flagship hospital by 2019 and a second hospital sometime in 2021. The company’s hospital-clinic business model is planned to be deployed in the Visayas region as well as in the Mindanao area of the Philippines.

Demand for healthcare services is expected to continue to rise and gain more importance in the Philippines due to lifestyle change, climate change, pollution and other different kinds of sickness that are present now. Per capita healthcare spending for the Philippines has actually grown from USD 78.1 in 2009 to USD 118.8 in 2012—a growth of more than 50%. Should this trajectory continue in tandem with economic growth, healthcare services will eventually reach a greater portion of the population than what is currently being served today.

(Source: Nikkei Asian Review, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Bataan Freeport Eyes Investments In Medical Tourism

MEDICAL - Philippines
February 2017

The Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) is initiating moves to lure investors from the healthcare industry. Healthcare presents an opportunity for ecozones, like the FAB, where the medical-tourism angle can be built on.

AFAB also noted that medical tourism is poised to continue growing globally in the next few years. While medical tourism is still an infant industry in the Philippines, the country can attract foreign investors engaged in health-related businesses. The Philippines is recognized as one of Asia’s most advanced nations in the field of healthcare, with many leading hospitals in the country already accredited by international standardization organizations.

Recent projections place the value of the Philippine medical tourism sector at USD 3 billion (in 2017), with an average of 200,000 foreign patients expected to come to the Philippines every year.

(Source: BusinessMirror)

Philippine Government Supports 5 Health Technologies For Nationwide Rollout

MEDICAL - Philippines
January 2017

The Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), the national coordinating body for health research, has unveiled five technologies that are making a difference in local healthcare delivery:

1. Axis Knee System

Developed by Orthopaedic International Inc., the Axis Knee System is the first and only knee system designed in the ASEAN region which allows access to knee replacement. Its innovative instrumentation and surgical technique also allow more surgeons to perform knee surgery without the need to undergo one-year fellowship program.
 
2. RxBox

The RxBox is a device which captures medical signals through built-in sensors, stores data in an electronic medical record (EMR), and transmits health information via the internet. 

 
3. eHATID

eHatid is an Android application that provides real-time health information and a facility for direct communication between local chief executives and rural health units (RHUs). This device works even without internet connection and provides decision-making support to local government units (LGUs) in creating sound and evidence-based health policies and programs.

 
4. Biotek-M

Biotek-M, a confirmatory test for dengue diagnosis, is as accurate as the currently available Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology yet less costly as it is locally developed.
 
5. OL Trap

The OL Trap is a simple but effective vector control method to lower the population of dengue Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, thus reducing dengue cases and controlling dengue transmission.
 
The DOST and the Department of Health (DOH) have collaborated for the nationwide rollout of the said technologies. 

(Source: Enterprise Innovation)

Philippine Dental Crown Exporter Expanding Production

MEDICAL - Philippines
December 2016

The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the application of Philippines-based dental products manufacturing firm Forbes Dental Prosthetics for a project to produce additional 3,260 export-quality crown pieces for the global market.

In its application to the BOI, Forbes said it would employ 11 more personnel to further boost the production of the crown pieces it currently supplies to a United States-based dental firm which provides the crown molds to Forbes complete with instructions and customer specifications. A crown is a dental product used to cover damaged teeth and improve their appearance. It currently accounts for the largest share of growth among various dental products in demand in recent years, driven by the growing population of geriatrics, the increasing dental problems encountered by the younger populace, and the prevalence of unhealthy eating habits, according to an industry study by the Transparency Market Research (TMR).

The global market for dental prosthetics is expected to increase two-fold from USD 3 billion in 2014 to nearly USD 6 billion by 2023, with an average annual growth rate of nearly 8% over the period.

(Source: The Manila Times)

Closing The Philippine Healthcare Gap With Inexpensive Medical Tools

MEDICAL - Philippines
November 2016

Global digital industrial giant GE is seeking to close the gap in healthcare in the country by way of offering low cost but quality medical tools in partnership with the private sector and the government. At present, GE has 30 to 40% share of the total market for medical equipment in the country. With the launch of the company’s low-cost equipment in 2015, GE expects to further widen its lead.  GE has partnered with AyalaHealth, a new business unit of Ayala Corp, that handles the conglomerate’s interests in the healthcare sector, for the supply of these equipment. With the government’s thrust for universal healthcare by 2030, there will be an opportunity for the private sector to supply medical equipment to aid the country’s healthcare program.

(Sources: The Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin)

Centuria Advances Philippine As Medical Tourism Hub

MEDICAL - Philippines
October 2016

Century Properties Group has completed Centuria Medical Makati, the country’s largest outpatient information technology-medical building located in Century City, Makati. The 28-storey, 74,000-square-meter facility offers preventive health and outpatient care.  It also provides wellness services which opens greater opportunities for medical tourism in the Philippines. The Philippines is following the Asian trend with the increase of aesthetic centers that offer surgical and minimally invasive procedures at competitive prices. While the Philippines is still in the developing stage in providing medical tourist services, Century Properties believes this potential should be given more attention. Century Properties also tapped the world-leading brand G.E. Healthcare, which has global experience on large-scale hospital and medical center projects, for the infrastructure design and layout of Centuria’s amenities and facilities.

(Sources: Malaya, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Shearwater Health Comes To The Philippines

MEDICAL - Philippines
September 2016

US Healthcare solutions provider Shearwater Health has expanded its presence in the Philippines riding on the country’s strong Filipino workforce that boosts prospects for its clinical process outsourcing (CPO) business. Formerly known as HCCA, the company has moved to its new 6,450- square-meter office at the Net Park building in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Shearwater expects to broaden its employee base to over 2,000, making it one of the largest non-hospital employers of licensed clinicians. Shearwater has been recruiting and deploying highly experienced nurses and other medical professionals from the Philippines to various hospitals and healthcare organizations in the US. As the US is predicted to have a shortfall of 120,00 nurses over next three or four years, Shearwater is noting that there will be an abundance of job offers in the US for clinicians in the international market.

(Source: BusinessWorld, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Biocept Inc Signs Distribution Deal For Philippines

MEDICAL - Philippines
August 2016

US-based molecular diagnostics company Biocept Inc struck a deal with life science distributor HarlePhil Venture Inc to get Biocept’s liquid biopsy tests into the Philippine market.  The deal marks the first distribution agreement of Biocept in Southeast Asia and represent a key milestone in its goal of expanding the distribution of it proprietary testing services into international markets. Under the agreement, Biocept will do all diagnostic testing services while HarlePhil will be responsible for sales, marketing, distribution, and reimbursement of the company’s liquid biopsy platform. The partnership comes as life science technologies are starting to receive growing interest in Asia.

(Sources: PR Newswire, Reuters)

MPIC Hospital Arm Acquires 93% Of Marikina Valley Medical Center

MEDICAL - Philippines
July 2016

The healthcare holding company of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has acquired a 93% stake in Marikina Valley Medical Center (MVMC) for PHP 933 million (USD 20 million). MPIC majority-owned of Indonesia’s Salim Group, announced that the deal will establish their presence in a hospital that is located in a high growth area of Metro Manila. The entry of the company will allow MVMC to strengthen its quality of infrastructure, improve its facilities and purchase the latest medical equipment. MVMC joins Metro Pacific’s nationwide chain of hospitals, which started in 2007 with its first investment in premier hospital Makati Medical Center.

(Sources: The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer)