IT professionals and services are widely needed in the healthcare sector of the Philippines, but the lack of homegrown talent and facilities poses a challenge to the supposedly P5.2 billion requirement.
According to Samuel Matunog, chief of the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Davao Industry Development, the healthcare sector, which covers government healthcare units and private hospitals, has various IT needs that are expected to improve operations. However, he said even if these organizations are willing to spend, only a handful of IT deals are processed due to the limited supply of IT companies - even IT individuals - in the country. He added that the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is also reportedly needing the same number of IT graduates.
Matunog, who is also the head of the Software Industry Association of Davao City and leads the efforts in implementing software for storing patient data on mobile devices in the biggest hospital in Mindanao, has been working on gathering data to come up with the estimate for several years. He noted that majority of the IT processes and software needed in the healthcare industry are involved in back-office operations like finance and accounting, legal and communication, and bookkeeping.
ICT-Davao is working on promoting scholarship programs so that more enrollees will be encouraged to opt for IT courses. Some of the in-demand courses are computer engineering, computer technology, and software development.