Western Visayas’ participation in the 2024 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Global Health Conference and Roadshow in Orlando, Florida, USA from March 11 to 15, 2024, aligns seamlessly with the region’s lofty goal to establish Western Visayas as the “Healthcare Information Management Service (HIMS) Capital of the World” by 2028, positioning itself as a fertile ground for nurturing startups and exceptional talent in the HIMS sector.

The Western Visayas’ delegation includes DTI VI OIC-Regional Director Rachel N. Nufable, Bacolod City Councilor Em. L. Ang, Bacolod Investment Officer Frances Mae Llamas, and Medstar CEO Judilyn Franco.

Medstar is a medical billing and coding company based in Bacolod City. The company has forged a talent development program in collaboration with the Bacolod LGU, further enhancing the city’s position as a hub for healthcare innovation and talent cultivation in the HIMS sector.

(from left) Medstar CEO Judilyn Franco, DTI VI OIC-Regional Director Rachel N,Nufable, Bacolod Investment Officer Frances Mae Llamas and Head of Bacolod Delegation Councilor Em Ang during the HIMSS Global Health Conference and Roadshow in Orlando, Florida, USA held on March 11-15, 2024

A total of 17 business enterprises from the Philippines which are members of the Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines, Inc. (HIMAP) participated in the conference. The entire delegation was led by Usec Rafaelita M. Aldaba of the DTI’s Competitiveness and Innovation Group (CIG), underscoring the government’s high-level support for the initiative.

This conference, renowned for gathering over 35,000 healthcare professionals worldwide, provided a prime opportunity for Region 6 particularly Bacolod City to attract potential investors and collaborators in the healthcare services sector. Organized by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the event brought together top healthcare information and technology companies, providing valuable insights into cutting-edge AI, cybersecurity, and emerging health technologies.

As part of their engagement at the conference, the delegation embarked on learning visits to four hospitals in Orlando and Jacksonville. These visits provided them with valuable insights and updates on healthcare services, further enriching their understanding of the latest developments in the field.

Frances Mae Llamas, Bacolod City’s Local Economic and Investment Promotions Officer, delivered a compelling pitch for Bacolod City during the Business Forum at Baptist Medical Center Beaches in Jacksonville, Florida on March 17, 2024, highlighting the city’s attractiveness for HIMS locators. The pitch showcased the city’s readiness to host investment and employment opportunities in the HIMS sub-sector.

The team engaged in fruitful discussions and established linkages with prospective locators, solidifying Bacolod City’s status as a prime destination for HIMS service providers. There were companies that expressed interest in establishing connections and potentially collaborating with the local government unit (LGU) and academic institutions, particularly within the healthcare services sector.

Region 6, known for its numerous Higher Education Institutions offering medical and health-related courses, stands as a fertile ground for nurturing exceptional talent in the HIMS sector.

The HIMS sector falls under the Health and Life Sciences (HLS) cluster, aligning seamlessly with the government’s priorities outlined in the 2023-2028 Philippine Development Plan and Western Visayas Regional Development Plan.

Moving forward, Region 6’s participation in global forums like HIMSS stresses its determination to advance healthcare innovation and create job opportunities, ultimately benefiting its citizens and the broader community. ♦

Date of release: 20 March 2024