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Healthcare info outsourcing seen employing 100,000

The domestic healthcare information management outsourcing services (HIMS) sector targets to employ 100,000 by 2016 or just a fraction of the booming global business which estimated value is expected to hit $162 billion by next year.

Dr. Penny Lauchangco, president of Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philiipines (HIMOAP), said the Philippines has only a fraction of the world’s business employing only nearly 66,000 at present.

“The requirements are still growing and we need to keep up with demand. There’s a lot of untapped resources in the Philippines and we’re doing our best to reel them in,” Lauchangco said.

“We’re aiming to have 100,000 people in this sector in 2016,” he added.

The global healthcare information technology industry is estimated to be growing at a steady 10 percent year-on-year growth and is expected to hit $162 billion in 2015. A huge portion of this goes to outsourced healthcare information management and leading the charge is the United States.

This rosy figure opens up opportunities for the Philippines to provide more specialized outsourced services for the healthcare information management outsourcing services sector. At present, areas of growth include the establishment of several providers as well as providing high-level specialized services catering to specific requirements in the healthcare industry.

Lauchangco, however, said the HIMS industry in the Philippines is still challenged by the absence of the necessary talent pool that would fill ever-growing requirements.

Lauchangco underscored the need to build partnerships with private and government institutions to build up the manpower needed.

She said HIMOAP) as an institution is dedicated to developing the country’s HIMS industry, and its mandate is to fill in the human resource capacity to enable the Philippines to become a global player in the healthcare IT segment.

HIMOAP has recently tied up with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for scholarship grants to qualified students who would want to build a career in the HIMS sector.

“We acknowledge the fact that many still think HIMS is just being part of a call center. On the contrary, it is applying one’s medical expertise in establishing a systematic approach in healthcare services. Jobs in HIMS are medically-oriented and that is exactly what we have in the Philippines that we need to tap,” explained Lauchangco.

To help promote the sector, HIMOAP has been engaged in the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology with its ‘Next Wave Cities’ campaign, to draw more attention to HIMS from both potential workforce and also investors.