07/11/16

PAPER : Health care access in the Philippines

Filipinos suffer from dismal access to health services. According to the Philippine government, access to health care in the Philippines has made significant steps forward through its policies that combines the expansion of the social health insurance with the augmentation of Public Private Partnerships. In this paper, we will examine whether the narrative holds true in practice in the Philippines.

Filipinos suffer from dismal access to health services. Today, 8 people out of 10 in the country report never having had a medical check-up or physical examination in their life. This glaring lack of access to health services is illustrated by the fact that 28% of all Filipino women do not enjoy skilled birth attendance. Health care utilization rates in the Philippines show worse access to health care than the regional average.

According to the Philippine government, access to health care in the Philippines has made significant steps forward through its policies of expanding social health insurance (Philhealth) on the one hand, and entering in Public Private Partnerships for hospitals on the other hand. Meanwhile, the European Development Cooperation is applauding the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach in developing countries.

Contents

In this paper, we will examine whether the narrative holds true in practice in the Philippines. We therefore start by looking at unravelling the dimensions of 'access to health care' and needed health system interventions to guarantee access. We then zoom in on accessibility of health care in the Philippines, to finish with policy alternatives proposed by the Philippine civil society.

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