Why Island-Centric?

Philippines is an archipelago country located in South East Asia that owns approximately 7100 islands. The country is touted to have a close affiliation with the west, as it underwent colonization of Spain and the United States after it was ceded to the latter for $20million during the Spanish-American war. At last, their independence came on 4th July 1946 and ended the long period of colonialism.

Boracay Island, Western Visayas, Philippines. (C) Blue Swan Daily

A little more on how did Philippines got its name.

The country was named after Philip II, who was the King of Spain when the nation underwent his rule in the 16th century. However, the legitimacy of the country’s name is being challenged by current President Duterte, as he pointed out that the King never actually set foot in the Philippines but only its currency.

Further on, Duterte has even proposed a new name by The Republic of Maharilika in 2019 that resembled serenity and peace. Nevertheless, this referendum is set for a long parliamentary process and nationwide vote before it can be officialized.

On to a serious note of Philippines’s Medical Industry

According to a Bloomberg report, Philippines is known for supplying medical workers to other parts of the world. This is evident as nearly 19,000 nurses left the country from 2012 to 2016, and only with a graduating cohort size of 26,000 in the same period. The shortfall of the medical staff is proven to critical as the nation struggle to contain the current pandemic situation while juggling its citizens’ healthcare needs.

Supply chain of nurses from 2012 to 2016 (C) Bloomberg

With the ratio of 6 doctors for every 10,000 people, compared to nearby countries including Singapore at 23, and Malaysia at 15.36. This deficit has overwhelmed the nation’s healthcare system and forced the government to ban any medical workers from leaving the country until the emergency is lifted. While the ban can provide temporary relief to the medical system, the government has to find a solution to address the downsides of the industry such as low wages and inadequate benefits that have long shunned youths away from the job.

Downward trend of medical graduates in recent years (C) Bloomberg

Afterthoughts

The power of supply & demand should be carefully measured and dovetailed with a long-term picture in mind.

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