• PH eyed as leading retirement care haven

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    The Philippines is now primed to become one of the leading destinations for retirement and nursing care, the non-profit Retirement and Healthcare Coalition (RHC) said Tuesday.

    “The Philippines is on the right track in becoming a recognized player in this very new market. What needs to be done is capacity building in the medical field,” RHC executive director Marc Daubenbeuche said.

    He stressed that the country needs to keep pace with global trends in the industry to become an attractive option in the region.

    Daubenbeuche added, “The Philippines needs to upgrade its roster of geriatric doctors which currently only totals 140 with no specialized geriatric nurses. This is mainly due to the lack of extensive geriatric courses that address proper long term care including psychological care for dementia patients and their families.”

    Thailand currently dominates the nursing care industry in Asia because of government investments in the upgrading of its medical facilities.

    Daubenbeuche, however, maintained that the Philippines already has an advantage in terms of its location and weather as well as the fluency of Filipinos in English.

    Currently, a nursing home for Germans in Iloilo is in operation. Nursing homes for foreign retirees are also being built in Cebu and Metro Manila.

    The RHC executive director also noted that the group is expecting more nursing facilities to be built in the country in light of the rising costs for the said services in Europe and the United States.

    While admitting that the country is lagging behind its neighbors in attracting foreign retirees who are looking for nursing facilities, Daubenbuechel underlined that a built-in market for local senior citizens seems to be present.

    “The total number of beds in private institutions quintupled in the last three years and about 80 percent of the bed capacity is now occupied by Filipino residents. This increase is a strong indicator that there is also a need for geriatric services for the local market,” Daubenbuechel said.

    He related that the RHC expects the demand for nursing homes to expand exponentially over the next few years and that it can be segmented further into home care and day care for foreign and local retirees.

    The RHC, spearheaded by the European, American, Japanese, and Korean chambers of commerce, will hold tomorrow its Retirement and Healthcare Master Class 2014 at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.

    The event, launched in partnership with the Department of Tourism and Philippine Retirement Authority, will feature internationally respected resource persons tackling various concerns on retirement and healthcare.

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