DTI positions Western Visayas as healthcare IT system leader

The complex set of processes starting from setting appointments with medical professionals up to
making payments for consultations, medical bills, and medicines, among others, may soon benefit
from the streamlined information-technology-based solutions.
This, as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) positions Western Visayas to lead as the
Healthcare Information Management System (HIMS) capital of the world in 2028.
DTI 6 OIC regional director Ermelinda P. Pollentes, in her opening message during the Regional HIMS
Conference on September 7, said the significance of the HIMS sector within the Health and Life
Sciences (HLS) cluster cannot be overstated.
“It aligns perfectly with the government’s priorities as outlined in the 2023-2028 Philippine
Development Plan and the Western Visayas Regional Development Plan,” Pollentes added.
Western Visayas, according to Pollentes, with its abundance of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
offering medical and health-related courses, proudly stands as a wellspring of exceptional talent in
the field of HIMS.
DTI also recognizes the country as one of the fastest-growing markets of the HIMS sector, which is
also considered an integral part of the Information Technology – Business Process Management (IT-
BPM) industry in the country.
Advanced World Solutions and Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines
President Vincent M. Remo said that if Western Visayas is to become the HIMS capital of the world,
the best bet would be on talent, on the people, and of course, balanced with infrastructure.
Initial data from the Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (IT) or IFIT showed that, as of August
this year, there are 22 HIMS locators in Region 6 that offer healthcare services with an estimated
10,700 full-time employees. This is further supported by about 18 health-related courses offered by
medical schools in the region.
West Visayas State University (WVSU) President Dr. Joselito F. Villaruz during the discussion with
experts and stakeholders noted that the WVSU, as the region’s premier higher educational institution
on medical programs, will also look into opening special programs and curriculum revisions to
integrate HIMS.
“We have already hired several part-time faculty members coming from the industry to be closely
working with our academic faculty. Because we believe that our curriculum should be designed based
on the industry needs, a curriculum that will address the employability of our future graduates,”
Villaruz said.
He also pointed out that to attain the goal of Region 6 to be the “HIMS capital of the world” by 2028,
the academic managers of the country need to come up with discussions on micro-credential
programs in the higher education system thereby creating a pool of human resources on HIMS.
HIMAP Corporate Secretary and Passelande InfoTech President and CEO John Dave Dueñas pointed
out four vital factors – talent and expertise, technological infrastructure, cost efficiency, and
government, in order to attain this goal.
“Let us continue to collaborate and make Western Visayas an innovative and digitally-enabled region –
as HIMS capital of the world by 2028 and a seedbed of startups. Join us in this lofty vision,” Pollentes
underscored that these are just some of the current innovations of the agency in shaping the future
of the industry and the region. (PIA6)