At the start of the millennium, several universities have invested greatly in their healthcare courses due to the high demand for healthcare professionals here and abroad, high school students were encouraged to pursue careers in the medical field because of the bright future it promised to give, and parents were willing to spend on 5 to 6-digit annual tuition fees just to get them that bright future. No one predicted that as time goes by, the demand will decline; decline to a point that there will be little to no jobs for these healthcare graduates.
According to the Outsourcing Insider, since 2001, the Philippines has produced over 1,000,000 nursing graduates alone; 482,418 of that figure are registered nurses. This still doesn’t include our med tech graduates, physical therapy graduates, pharmaceutical graduates, and so many more graduates from medical fields.
Where are they now?
Some have landed jobs with hospitals and clinics here in the Philippines, others have migrated to the United States, Canada, and other countries to pursue a job related to their field. But these are the lucky few; the lucky few that graduated just in time to fill in the needs of the medical industry. Then it stopped. Recession hit the United States, other countries are prioritizing their natives, and the Philippine medical industry has but only a few openings for its recent graduates.
Unemployed Filipino healthcare graduates are either forced to take on a job that is not in their field, take on higher education or volunteer in hospitals, clinics, and rural areas just to be a little cut above the rest, or continue being unemployed in the hopes that one day their job application will be picked up by a medical institution. This is the sad reality when supply outweighs the demand. This is the sad reality when you have to make ends meet. The dream of a bright future in their chosen field seemingly shattered.
But fortunately for these healthcare graduates; when one door closed, several windows opened. Unlike other jobs that our healthcare graduates have pursued, these windows do not call for these healthcare graduates to put aside their medical background, in fact, it is highly required. I am talking about the windows leading to the healthcare information management outsourcing industry.
Medical coders, medical billers, and medical coding instructors; sound familiar? These are the jobs that are highly in demand, and will continue being in demand for the years to come. The Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines has projected 100,000 direct hires by 2016, and this will only continue to grow as more and more healthcare outsourcing companies are established in the Philippines.
Healthcare graduates do not need to settle for less anymore, they can stick with what they know, and earn big from it. No more medical knowledge will be put to waste.
When opportunities knock on your window, you have to run fast, open that window, and grab the opportunity and never let it go.