Industry Facts

Positioning the Philippines as a Leading MedTech Hub: A Comprehensive Analysis of MedTech Partnerships, Industrialization Strategies, and Health Tourism Initiatives

Establishing MedTech Partnerships in the Philippines holds a strategic importance for the country's ambition to become a significant player in the field of medical technology. The government's proactive approach includes multifaceted efforts such as local equipment development, research initiatives, collaborations with technology developers, capacity enhancement for researchers and regulatory agencies, and the implementation of measures for post-operative and rehabilitative medicine. Successfully executing these initiatives is pivotal for positioning the Philippines as a major hub for MedTech innovation on the global stage.

As outlined in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, a specific program targets the involvement of multinational companies (MNCs) in the local pharmaceutical sector. This endeavor aims to bolster the sector's self-sufficiency and contribute to the country's industrialization goals. The Health and Life Science (HLS) cluster, among other clusters, underscores the Philippines' intent to achieve self-sufficiency in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, healthcare services, digital health products, and digital health services. This entails a diverse array of offerings, including personal health wellness technology products, solutions for chronic diseases, telemedicine platforms, and AI-assisted diagnostic tools.

With the goal of fostering health and wellness tourism, the Philippines is actively positioning itself as a serious regional contender in this sector. The National Tourism Development Plan for 2023-2028, with its 7-point agenda, is instrumental in driving this effort. The country boasts 23 health facilities that hold international accreditation from the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua). Additionally, access to care is facilitated by 63 private hospitals located near four international airports, ensuring minimal waiting times for appointments and treatments. Notably, the cost of medical treatments in the Philippines is notably competitive compared to Western countries and other Asian nations. The Philippines' proficiency in English also works in its favor, with English-speaking healthcare professionals and hospitals recognized by foreign insurance companies, contributing to its allure as a health and wellness tourism destination.

Philippines Medical Device market is expected to reach to a value of PHP 130 Billion by 2025, with a double digit growth CAGR during the next five years.

Philippines healthcare expenditure has increased at a CAGR of 10.9% from PHP 489.1 billion in 2014 to PHP 911.4 billion in 2020(P). The future for healthcare expenditure seems bullish backed by hospital expansion and spending on healthcare services by government and private entities. The growing healthcare expenditure in the country will lead to increase in the demand of medical devices and diagnostic equipment, to offer better healthcare facilities in the country.

In Philippines, there are about 9,731 healthcare units out which 5,409 are government owned and 4,322 are owned by private entities, as on December 31st 2020.Specific to hospitals, the country has 1,915 hospitals, out of which 767 hospitals are owned by the government and remaining 1,148 hospitals are privately owned as of 31st December 2020.

Growing Demand for Medical Consumables:

Medical consumables market of Philippines is projected to experience high growth in future as several local manufacturers are entering into the market with their latest product offerings. In 2020, it has been observed that the medical consumables market has recorded Y-o-Y growth of 18.3% from that of previous year in Philippines, majorly due to emergence of global pandemic Covid-19 virus in the country which led to surge in the demand of medical consumables such as Surgical masks, N95 masks, PPE Kits, Latex or nitrile gloves, face shields, Nasal Swabs and Test Kits, needles, syringes, ventilators and many more.

New Technologies in Diagnostics Equipment Market:

The use of diagnostic imaging has increased dramatically over the past decade, contributing to medical costs and to medical exposure to ionizing radiation. X-Ray Based Products are mostly used for heath checks, which is followed by Ultrasound and CT scan. MRI, Electro diagnostic Apparatus and ECG are some of the others widely used machineries. The availability of new imaging modalities and discovery of new applications of existing techniques have also greatly contributed to the increased utilization of diagnostic imaging in daily practice.

Medical Tourism:

Philippines have shown a promising future as a health tourism destination country. In fact, it ranked 24th based on the 2020 Medical Tourism Index (MTI) survey out of 46 countries, and it is one of the 25 Leading Growth Markets for Wellness Tourism Trips from 2015 to 2017 based on the Global Wellness Tourism Economy Report. The key features include the large pool of English-speaking professionals, its culture of hospitality, the quality of education and skills of health professionals, its young and hospitable workforce, its competitive price advantage for healthcare and other services, and its popularity as a tourist destination in general, among others. Cancer treatments at a lower cost would help the medical device manufacturers to witness a huge influx of foreign patients in the country.

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Philippines pharma: All set for continuous growth

The Philippines is the 11th most attractive pharmaceutical market in the Asia-Pacific region and the third-largest pharmaceutical market in ASEAN, after Indonesia and Thailand. The country’s pharmaceutical industry is projected to grow by 4.5 per cent annually over the next five years reaching P164 billion in 2018 from P146 billion in 2014 representing the value output or production of industry, including research based pharmaceutical and generic companies, according to IMS Consulting for the Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP). The Filipino pharmaceuticals is one of the fastest growing industries in the country and has grown year to year. Of the world’s Top 20 pharmaceutical companies, over 14 have manufacturing facilities in the Philippines. Business registration in the pharmaceutical industry in the Philippines is a growing and expanding financial opportunity too. The pharmaceutical manufacturing sector ranks is listed in the top 22 per cent of the 240 sectors in the Philippines.

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Medical Device Market In Philippines

Philippine medical device market scale in 2011 was approximately US$400 million. The market scale is modest and similar to Indonesian medical devices and market scale. The overall medical device market in 2016 is expected to reach US$600 million; also, the compound annual growth rate will be 8.14% in 2011-2016. According to the further analysis of the medical device market structure in Philippine in 2011, diagnostic imaging product is the main item, accounted for 35.8%; followed by medical devices that accounted for 21.9%, other medical devices accounted for 21.5%, and auxiliary devices, dental products, and orthopedic implants accounted for 9.1%, 8.6%, and 3.2%, respectively. The Philippine medical device market relies heavily on foreign imports due to the underdevelopment of domestic medical device industry. According to the import analysis, in terms of medical consumable products, approximately 94% of the wound dressing products rely on imports from Belgium and China; also, 82% of the catheters, surgical gloves, and protective equipment are imported from Malaysian mainly. In addition, over 98% of the auxiliary devices, such as, hearing aids and pacemaker; are imported from Hong Kong and Switzerland. The artificial joints have great opportunities to grow and mostly imported from Taiwan.

Medical Tourism in the Philippines

The Philippines is one of the top travel destinations in Southeast Asia, but it’s also fast becoming one of the top destinations in the world for medical tourists.

Ranked 8th in the world for being a top medical tourism destination, Philippines caters to about 250,000 foreign patients or clients each year. According to a 2015 list compiled by global non-profit association for medical tourism and international patient industry, the International Healthcare Research Center and Medical Tourism Association, the Philippines garnered the 8th spot based on providing the most suitable healthcare cost, culture, security, and quality in terms of medical healthcare.

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