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    Uprising Cost of Health Care in the Philippines; A Socio-eco


    Uprising Cost of Health Care in the Philippines; A Socio-eco Empty Uprising Cost of Health Care in the Philippines; A Socio-eco

    Post  nina_vil on Wed 21 Apr 2010, 1:59 am


    Uprising Cost of Health Care in the Philippines; A Socio-economic Problem
    • Why is the health care system providing more room to the discrimination of patient’s economic status?

    Inequalities in access to quality of health care among Filipino patients are glaring. While few health care facilities in the country boast meeting world class standards on quality care, while others suffer from dire lack of equipment and inadequate staff.

    Such inequity is an extension of the imbalance on the country’s socio-economic development which favors the high income and urban sector of the population. Equity in health care has worsened during the period under consideration: the non-poor who are less burdened by illness or diseases receive more health care services while the poor who bear a greater burden of illnesses receive less health care.

    The poor endure a greater burden of major diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, disability and epilepsy and thus “…need to seek quality health care that is largely provided by public and private hospitals and private clinics in the Philippines,”

    “However, what is observed in the Philippine case is that there is inequity: the poor are not getting treatment according to their needs.”
    Financial difficulties may have forced the poor to postpone seeking care until more severe stages of the illness, thus resulting in the bypass of primary basic health facilities, the Manila-based lender pointed out.

    The failure of health care supply to keep pace with population growth also posed a constraint.“The population of the Philippines has been increasing at an annual rate of 2.3%, so if supply of services is not keeping up with the population growth there will be a decline in the utilization rate of the services,” the DOH paper read.

    Health care utilization has declined at a faster rate than population growth, which could be attributed either to a decline either in the supply of services or in the demand or both, it added. The decline in supply could be due to scarcity of materials as well as lack of staff and equipment, which may have forced people to go to tertiary or private health care facilities that are better equipped and staffed, even for basic and primary health care. The lack of supply of hospital beds and physicians as well as the uneven distribution of health personnel across the regions are among the reasons cited for the differences.

    To address these problems, our group proposed that the government evaluate the databases of the state-owned Social Insurance System and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to study the scope for expansion in health care services and facilities. PhilHealth should continue to promote its services to provinces and municipalities where coverage rates are low.

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