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PH’s rising status as top retirement haven boosts demand for healthcare jobs

MANILA, Philippines – The rising stature of the Philippines as one of the top retirement havens in the world augurs well for the creation of job opportunities in the local health industry, which could specially cater to the international market, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said.
“The Forbes Magazine’s recognition of the Philippines as one of the Top 20 best foreign retirement havens in the world, specifically of the first-rate amenities offered by retirement facilities in Subic Bay and Tagaytay City, would create demand for health care services specific to the needs of retirees from any part of the world who are coming to the Philippines looking for home away from home,” Baldoz said.
Baldoz said that health and wellness, which is central to the medical tourism industry, is one of the 13 key employment generators in the Jobs FitLabor Market Information (LMI) Report 2013-2020.
The labor market information report cites health and wellness industry’s in-demand occupations, such as anaestician, dentist, dietician, hairdresser, massage therapist, manicurist, surgeon, and radiologic technician, among other jobs. The hard-to-fill occupations are biochemical engineer, microbiologist, cosmetic surgeon, and physical therapist. There are alsocross-cutting occupations who are both in-demand and hard-to-fill, and these are physicians, pharmacists, nutritionists, and medical technologists.
“We need to fill up this demand by providing the right training and education so that we can create a niche specific in this emerging healthcare market. There is a huge potential in generating quality jobs in medical tourism,” Baldoz said.
She also acknowledged the efforts of some higher education institutions which are pioneering in the offering of curricular programs to professionalize the health and wellness occupation.
“With the Philippines emerging as a retirement haven, our educational system must also attune itself to the demands of the labor market by producing graduates equipped with the right skills and specialization, such as geriatric health care,” she said.
Forbes magazine cited the Philippines’ affordable cost of living, tropical environment, English-speaking population, and ‘outdoor beauty’ as pensioners’ reasons in patronizing the country’s retirement amenities.
“It will be a different perspective if foreign retirees—instead of our health care workers leaving the country to work abroad—would come to the Philippines to avail not only of our touristy amenities but also of the distinct brand of healthcare provided by our medical and allied field professionals and workers,” Baldoz said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.