£810 / $1295 / €985
Despite having one of the largest populations in the world, let alone ASEAN, the country remains largely poor, and most of the opportunities are centred around Manila and surrounding areas on the island of Luzon, with areas such as Mindanao lagging behind overall.
The Philippines medical device market is expected to grow at a solid 8.8% in the medium term. This growth will be spearheaded by the growth of imports, health expenditure, the private sector and medical tourism.
The Philippines has a history of political instability. The current ruling administration has had its fair share of controversy. The highly devolved health sector makes it difficult to stamp out corruption and other bureaucratic problems.
Medical device spending is around US$3 per capita in 2012, similar to that in Vietnam and China. The Philippines has some domestic capacity to produce basic hospital items, but the majority of the market is supplied by imports. Private hospitals in Manila represent the best prospects for suppliers.
The government plans to achieve universal healthcare by 2016. One of the steps taken to achieve this goal has been the widening of health insurance membership coverage. Since 2011 the government has paid for the health insurance membership (PhilHealth scheme) of 5.3 million of the poorest families, equal to around 25 million people, as identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction Poverty Reduction of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Families identified under this scheme are except from balance-billing (exempt from paying the difference between the insurance payout and the hospital bill) when they are admitted in any government hospital.
For 2013, the government has allocated P13.5 billion (US$306.8 million) for the development of national & local hospitals, health centres and barangay health stations. The DoH has also introduced the new National Hospital Reform Programme, where between 25 and 30 hospitals have been identified for development through private-public partnership initiatives. Seven of these hospitals will be upgraded to provide specialist care in heart surgery, oncology and organ transplantation.
Latest collated data show that in the latest 12 months, imports grew by 7.1% to reach US$226.4 million in June 2012, over the previous corresponding total of US$211.3 million. Consumables was by far the strongest sector, rising by 44.8% during the period but overall growth was tempered by falls in diagnostic imaging (-12.7%) and dental products (-5.3%). On a quarterly basis however, imports fell by 3.1% to US$54.1 million in June 2012.
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