Maintaining competitiveness in an increasingly globalized world
Santiago Antonio B. Sibayan, MD, PhD
Filipino doctors are world-famous for their excellent clinical skills and bedside manners. However, if we were to promote our country as an international center for medical care, it is not sufficient that we provide care that is just at par with those of other countries.
THANKS to globalization, we live in a world that is constantly growing smaller. As our planet shrinks, everyone is increasingly gaining access to the best that each has to offer. Knowledge, information, and advances in science, technology, and other fields are spreading faster than ever before, aided in great measure by the growth in information technology. However, it has also become easier to be outdone by others. One must, therefore, remain competitive after all, only the fittest survive. Filipino doctors are world-famous for their excellent clinical skills and bedside manners. We, therefore, have the advantage of capitalizing on these skills for the promotion of medical tourism. However, if we were to promote our country as an international center for medical care, it is not sufficient that we provide care that is just at par with those of other countries. We may be able to provide state-of-the-art care, but we must also strive to advance medicine. Due to our relatively meager resources, it may be difficult to achieve similar breakthroughs that other countries with more advanced biomedical programs have attained.
But there are countries in similar situation as ours that are making great progress in science and medicine. Cuba, for instance, has managed to make itself known worldwide with its vaccine-development and manufacturing program. Thailand and Malaysia are also making great strides in medical research. In India, biotechnology research is taking deep roots. It would be wise for us to look at these countries as models that we can emulate. We should identify our strengths, nurture them, and find our niche in the biomedical world. This would enhance our expertise and advance our aspiration to be a provider of medical care for the world.
It is not enough that we keep abreast of the latest trends and that we rely on others for new knowledge. It is essential that we develop and cultivate our own in order to project ourselves on the international stage.
In Vol. 31, No. 2, July – December 2006, the article “Efficacy of multiple selective trabeculoplasty in open-angle glaucoma” should have stated that the co-author Mark A. Latina, MD, has financial interest in SLT and is a paid consultant of Lumenis Corporation..