UK sees potential in PHL healthcare, research industry

By , on August 12, 2015


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MANILA — At a time when some Filipinos seemed hopeless about healthcare in the Philippines, one country saw its huge potential.

“Definitely there’s potential, especially in research projects,” said Ian Mansfield, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) director in an interview with the Philippines News Agency (PNA).

In a dialogue organized by the British Embassy Manila on Tuesday, Mansfield mentioned that last March, top UK scientists visited the Philippines to explore collaborations, discover about new diseases, among others.

He said the scientists stayed here for about two weeks, and the UKTI looked at the challenges in healthcare in the Philippines.

“How can we address this together? How can we make sure medical devices will be licensed appropriately? How can we promote initiatives like the Mexico City Principles?” he asked.

Currently, UKTI is working closely with the Department of Health (DOH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

As UKTI sees a huge potential especially in the field of research, the UK has allocated 2 million pound for a joint research work.

Called the Newton Fund, it aims to build science and innovation partnerships with key emerging economies.

It also helps promote economic development and social welfare of partner countries, recognizing that science, technology and innovation capability are all vital in long-term sustainable growth, and to develop new technologies beneficial to the society.

Mansfield said that the fund will be used for two years, to address science and healthcare challenges.

Also, the project will be a collaboration between at least one scientist from UK and one Filipino scientist.

Meanwhile, when asked what he thinks is the biggest healthcare challenge in the Philippines, he cited it’s in ensuring equitable access in the whole country.

Aside from research collaborations, a number of British private companies are also increasing their investments in the Philippines. Among these include GSK, Smiths Medical and GE Healthcare.