The Philippine Healthcare Services sector has been static in its evolution for almost 4 decades. Consisting of public and private healthcare institutions, it has not be able to adapt to the dynamics of economic and social development that has occurred in those past decades. Mainly, it has been classified into two. These are based on the financial and economic capabilities of those who needed healthcare. The well to do would opt for private institutions and the rest were consigned to public health institutions. Thus, the disparity in the quality of healthcare was divided by a wide gap,
These factors not only showed the quality given. Although accessibility to public healthcare is supposed to be easier, the availability of healthcare professionals, equipment and medicines were only in theory but not in practice. Thus, there are barangay health centers, the frontline of the public healthcare system that do not have the full capacity to address the needs of the larger population. This is the situation wherein most of those who need basic healthcare are referred to regional tertiary hospitals that have limited space for the growing population and its healthcare requirements.
The only other option is to go to private hospitals where such requirements can be acquired but these are only accessible to most urban residents and have higher financial costs. Even though these private hospitals have large capacities, still they are also subject to longer waiting times for those requiring services.
The Philippine population is experiencing an eco-social evolution. The increase in population is also coinciding with the growth of household incomes. These are the results of a higher number of educated Filipinos with employment and the OFW phenomenon that has created an expanding middle class. This segment of the population now have the capability for better quality healthcare. What precludes them from such are factors accessibility and convenience. By their very economic and social evolution, time itself is a commodity for them and that is where the need for another option comes in.
Since the 1970s, retail health clinics have been present in the Philippine healthcare ecosystem. From a few clinics initially present, groups of doctors founded polyclinics wherein a number of specialized doctors are available at any given day and schedule.
Another level was reached when clinics started in malls and arcades. These presented options for those who require certain medical services.
The drawback was that owing to financial factors, many of these clinics closed down. A way must be found to ensure their financial viability. This can be fulfilled by innovation with regards to added capabilities and services, thus more patients can be served and accommodated.
In the US, this is already happening. Accenture has an annual growth forecast of 14% on this so called sector.
I the Philippines, this is also beginning. With FamilyDoc, leding the way, retauil clinics have found the niche where they can be of service to the community and at the same time be financially viable. Putting emphasis on expanded capabilities and services and even pharmacies located on-site, the initial branches were able to provide the needed services. This included modern equipment and laboratories that are also on-premise.
Another game-changer is technology wherein electronic health records are updated and is present on any given clinic. This factor led to better medical management of the clinics and of course patient monitoring as needed by those who need such with chronic diseases. This is the benefit of an integrated Health Information System (HIS)
All these factors lead to better healthcare management, accessibility, convenience and lower healthcare costs for both the operators and the communities being served.