The World Health Organization (WHO) labels a healthcare system as “well-functioning” if it provides impartial access to quality healthcare regardless of pay dimensions while protecting them from financial consequences of poor health. Healthcare in the Philippines does not meet these set standards.
Top 10 Facts on Healthcare in the Philippines
- The WHO refers to the Filipino Healthcare System as “fragmented.” There is a history of unfair and unequal access to health services that significantly affects the poor. The government spends little money on the program which causes high out of pocket spending and further widens the gap between rich and poor.
- Out of the 90 million people living in the Philippines, many do not get access to basic care. The country has a high maternal and newborn mortality rate, and a high fertility rate. This creates problems for those who have especially limited access to this basic care or for those living in generally poor health conditions.
- Many Filipinos face diseases such as Tuberculosis, Dengue, Malaria and HIV/AIDS. These diseases pair with protein-energy malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies that are becoming increasingly common.
- The population is affected by a high prevalence of obesity along with heart disease.
- Healthcare in the Philippines suffers from a shortage of human medical resources, especially doctors. This makes the system run slower and less efficiently.
- Filipino families who can afford private health facilities usually choose these as their primary option. Private facilities provide a better quality of care than the public facilities that lower income families usually go to. The public facilities tend to be in rural areas that are more run down. These facilities have less medical staff and inferior supplies.
- Only 30 percent of health professionals employed by the government address the health needs of the majority. Healthcare in the Philippines suffers because the remaining 70 percent of health professionals work in the more expensive privately run sectors.
- To compensate for the inequality, a program called Doctors to the Barrios and its private sectors decided to build nine cancer centers, eight heart centers and seven transplant centers in regional medical centers.
- The Doctors to the Barrios included Public-Private Partnerships in a plan to modernize the government-owned hospitals and provide more up to date medical supplies.
- More than 3,500 public health facilities were updated across the country.
Although advances have been made to improve healthcare in the Philippines, there are still many issues that the country has yet to overcome to achieve a high quality, cost efficient healthcare system.
– Katelynn Kenworthy