PH health practitioners best in Asean region


THE Philippines has an edge among its neighboring countries when it comes to the health sector—a boost for the country once the integration of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) members takes effect in 2015.

This, according to Dr. Alfredo Bengzon, a former Health Secretary and president/chief executive officer (CEO) of The Medical City (TMC), is due to the outstanding skills of Filipino health professionals.

“On the health side, on the point of view of human resource, we are in good shape because our health professionals are outstanding,” Bengzon told reporters on Thursday.

Bengzon cited the good communication skills and training of Filipino health professionals as compared to their counterparts in the Asean.

“Among Filipino professionals, the best performing [are those in the health sector]. We speak English fluently and hopefully the quality of our thinking is good and so forth,” he said.

One area where the country is ahead from its neighbors, is molecular medicine wherein Filipino expertise is being sought by their counterparts.

“There are people from Indonesia and Malaysia asking if we can do something together on this area,” he said.

As part of its preparation, the TMC earned the distinction of being the first medical institution in the Philippines to receive the Westgard Sigma Verification.

“This verification will push the The Medical City further to pursue and ensure quality and excellence in every aspect of medical services that we offer to various stakeholders,” he said.

The tertiary care hospital aims to ensure precision and excellence in the quality of healthcare it provides notably in laboratory medicine.

Sten Westgard, director of client services of Westgard QC said the program employs a six Sigma Quality Management System in the laboratory that provides an objective and quantitative approach to guarantee that the analytical quality of test results is acceptable for their intended clinical use.

“The program standardizes quality in the medical laboratory. It heightens quality management, inspires and ingrains the correct practices into the entire staff,” he added.

Westgard added that laboratory medicine plays a vital role in the decision-making of physicians as well as the kind of treatment to be administered so precision and quality of work are non-negotiables.

Bengzon, for his part, said, “Laboratory medicine is very important that we consolidate our gains and we break new ground as part of responding to the opportunities that will be brought about by the Asean countries.”


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  1. With all due respect to Dr. Bengson, but I would have preferred if the opinion came from an independent source i. e. international organization.