There is no denying that Filipino healthcare professionals stand out globally – thousands of doctors, nurses, and other workers in the industry continue to be in demand across the world each year.
Back home, however, local medical facilities still play catch-up in order to make the Philippines an international hub for healthcare. While the country landed on the 5th spot in the most competitive economy in Southeast Asia in the recent Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum, it still lags in three pillars, including health. To date, there are 14 internationally accredited healthcare facilities in the Philippines.
As hospitals and clinics continuously step up to upgrade their facilities and services, one organization is helping them shape up to achieve world-class status.
HealthCore, the center for international quality accreditation for healthcare and medical tourism in the Philippines, has been breathing life into the country’s goal to become globally competitive in the healthcare arena. Since its establishment in 2010, HealthCore has been pushing the industry improve the quality of the hospitals and medical facilities in the country.
“As the ASEAN representative of various international certification organizations, we promote the globalization of healthcare,” HealthCore president and CEO Joyce Socao-Alumno said. “From day one, our advocacy is to help bring the quality of our medical facilities’ services at par with the international/global standards.”
She explained that they assist various stakeholders involved in international healthcare management, medical and wellness tourism, and retirement services to achieve global competitiveness, excellent patient service and outcomes, and enhanced bottom line through education, international accreditation, and strategic approaches.
“In a bid to make the Philippines and the ASEAN become a global healthcare destination, HealthCore has committed itself to become part of the medical facilities’ journey to deliver world-class healthcare, particularly in the areas of: academy, accreditation, consultancy, and trading,” Alumno said.
Recognizing the challenges that hospitals and clinics face in trying to be globally competitive, HealthCore organizes workshops, seminars and on-site trainings that provide insights on how they can acquire international accreditation from International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Temos and International Society for Quality Healthcare (ISQUA), accrediting bodies like JCI and National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH).
Part of its recent initiatives include the training of healthcare professionals on the revised version of the ISO 9001:2015 BS EN 15224: 2016. Supported by the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Hospital Association, and the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, HealthCore, as the ASEAN representative of Swiss Approval, discussed the Implementation Guidelines and Best Practices for the Audit and Certification of Quality Management Systems (QMS) and Patient Safety in Healthcare Services.
HealthCore also offers consultancy services in the areas of operational efficiency, patient care, facility management and safety, infection control, continuous quality improvement, and quality audit tools as prescribed by international accreditation standards. It has recently concluded a talk on reinventing healthcare through patient-centered hospital designs. The event brought experts from across the globe to discuss about design and technology that change the way hospitals and clinics are operated with the patient at the center of all considerations.
In addition, HealthCore Hospi-tel furniture that give luxurious comfort to patients that are affordable, yet with excellent quality
All these, Alumno said, are geared towards helping the Philippines push its huge potential in the area of medical tourism, a market that is estimated to be worth $22 billion. Currently, the country ranks 19th in the overall global ranking according to the Medical Tourism Index. As hospitals and clinics work toward that goal, with support from the government, HealthCore is relentlessly working behind the scenes to push for global competitiveness. “In terms of international standards, the Philippines is well on its way to get a clean bill of health,” Alumno said. “As we have in the beginning, we at HealthCore will continue to play our role to reach this goal – one medical facility at a time.”