Article lifted from The Indo Expat Magazine | Summer Issue 2015
Raymund Del Val is the President and CEO of Davao Doctors Hospital,The Indo Expat got up and close with him as he shares his insights on Healthcare matters in the Philipines.
The following questions are what we would like to meet up with you to have an interview on:
What is your take on the current situation of healthcare in the Philippines?
The Philippine healthcare industry has truly progressed, hospitals and healthcare facilities in the country are mostly at par with our international counterparts. Recently, big conglomerates have ventured into the healthcare business. The Metro Pacific Investment Corporation whose parent company is the Hong Kong based First Pacific Company, operates nine (9) hospitals in the Philippines. There is an influx of interested local and foreign investors looking into the healthcare industry particularly in highly specialized care, in which most of our tertiary hospitals are offering as compared general care set-up.
Healthcare globalization particularly medical tourism has opened many windows of opportunities for the medical community and offers more choices to patients and consumers. Now, patients can get quality healthcare with less worry on its costs and rates. The Philippines, is front and center, we have highly trained medical professionals with extensive trainings abroad, advance technologies and processes that are comparable in US and European hospitals and more importantly we, Filipinos take pride on our trademark warmth and hospitality.
The Philippines has both private and public healthcare institutions. Most of the government hospitals provide quality healthcare in the same way as private hospitals do. About 40% of hospitals are public.
Government and private hospitals differ in the facilities and technologies offered. Most of the public hospitals are not equipped to the same standard as the private hospitals. But some of the best doctors are serving in the government hospitals.
Most Filipinos would seek advice from government hospitals because fees are not charged. Private hospitals are located in key cities throughout the country and there are also tertiary hospitals that have the latest in medical technologies.
Hospitals are not that expensive in the Philippines. Overall, the healthcare system in the Philippines is affordable as doctors are well-trained and the nurses are of a high standard.
Challenges. The Philippine public healthcare system is marred with problems due to the lack of health personnel, the absence of adequate facilities and the remaining barriers for the poor to access health care. According to the 2012 Philippines Health Service Delivery Profile, a collaboration between the DOH and the World Health Organization (WHO), only 4 of the country’s 17 regions meet the acceptable hospital bed to population ratio. The Philippine government has expanded the National Health Insurance or PhilHealth – the country’s public health insurance system. More than 85% are currently covered to include indigents and the informal sector in an effort to move closer to the goal of universal health care coverage.
What kind of direction are you leading Davao Doctors Hospital towards?
The Davao Doctors Hospital (DDH) vision, is to become The Unparalleled Health Institution beyond Borders. We at DDH, aims to be one of the preferred healthcare facility of choice, initially in the South East Asian region and hopefully gain international recognition. To support our vision, we have taken several strategic actions such as application for international accreditation, upgrade of systems and processes, continuing improvement and education of our medical personnel. We anchored our efforts with the notion of giving “Delightful Experiences” to our patients and clients in mind. Thus we broke out of the hospital stereotype and uplifted the look and feel of the DDH into a higher level of brand experience. Truly a world-class experience.
We have set our sights in participating in the promotion of Medical Tourism in the country. In fact, we have taken an active lead in maximizing the industry’s potential BIMP corridor. We recently, had a trip in Manado, Indonesia where have talked to several key persons for a future partnerships. Partnership in referral programs for patients needing dental, cardiac and aesthetic procedure to which our doctors and our hospital excels at. We have also touched-base with our Indonesian residency graduates (trained in DDH) who have made successful medical careers in their native country.
What are some challenges that Davao Doctors Hospital is facing in its growth?
Challenges are constant in every industry; our challenge is how to maximize the potential of medical tourism since we are located in the southern part of the country. As we are keen on being the forerunners of the ASEAN Integration via the BIMP partnership; we are taking a proactive stance on providing insights in addressing the challenges in Sea and Air travel.
Another challenge is medical accreditation of healthcare practitioners (doctors & nurses); where it would be tedious to practice and/or get additional training in other Asian countries (i.e. residency, fellowship and diplomate trainings), as the will still be required to take local licensing examinations.
I am confident that our team, is active in coming up with strategies and plans in making Davao Doctors Hospital as the hospital of choice of our Asian neighbors, living up to our vision of becoming THE UNPARALLELED HEALTH INSTITUTION BEYOND BORDERS.