Is the Health Care Industry Recession-Proof?

Manila Bulletin, March 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Is the Health Care Industry Recession-Proof?


I recent government-to-government arrangement was made that will initially bring some 300 Filipino nurses to work for Japanese hospitals. This is good news considering the current economic slump worldwide. And then came the announcement of RCM Health Care Services' need for occupational (OT) and physical therapists (PT) in the United States. Now that's even greater news!

(Illustration by Eugene Cubillo)RCM is a recognized leader in health care staffing solutions, backed by 30 years of experience. Six years ago, it partnered with the leading HR solutions provider in the region, John Clements Consultants, Inc., and its overseas staffing partner, EDI Staff Builders, in promoting work opportunities, particularly for therapists.

According to RCM's senior vice president Michael Saks during their recent visit to the country, "the Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows nursing and physical and occupational therapy as the major health care job occupations with the fastest employment growth." It is estimated that by the year 2014, health services employment is projected to increase dramatically with over 4,700,000 new health care jobs.

"Even in an economic downturn, one sector is staying strong, and that is health care. Intangible job markets such as health care and education has grown by over 500,000 jobs since the recession began," Saks shares.

Marc Chafetz, RCM's vice president, also agrees, "The health care industry is pretty much recession-resistant. We have more jobs than we've ever had. While some of the smaller companies who used to come and recruit in the Philippines has pretty much gone out of business and stopped coming, we, on the other hand, increased our efforts by coming twice in a year now."

Strong demand for Filipinos

According to the Philippine Department of Health Report in 2007, 85 percent of Filipino health care professionals are working overseas, making the country the number one exporter of nurses and therapists worldwide. Between 12,000 and 15,000 nurses, therapists and other professionals are reported to leave the Philippines each year to work abroad, mostly in the United States.

"Filipinos consistently provide excellent and world-class service in the field of heath care all over the world. …

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