Health Care Delivery System in the Philippines

Topics: Health care, Medicine, Health economics Pages: 25 (4661 words) Published: October 7, 2013
Health Service Delivery Profile


Compiled in collaboration between
WHO and Department of Health, Philippines

Philippines health service delivery profile
Demographics and health situation
Positioned on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, on the south-eastern rim of Asia, the Philippines is the second-largest archipelago on the planet, with over 7,107 islands In 2010, the population of the Philippines was 92.3 million, with a growth rate of 1.9% per year. There are 80 provinces, 138 cities and 1,496 municipalities and half the population (50.3%) live in urban areas, and of that, 44% live in slums. Both urban and rural poverty are high but steadily decreasing. The population is highly fragmented across the islands and with 180 ethnic groups. Malays make up the majority and there are tribes of indigenous peoples in mountainous areas throughout the country. The majority of the population is Christian and there is a Muslim minority concentrated in the south. Table 1. Key development indicators in the Philippines

Key development indicators
Human development index
Gini coefficient
Total health expenditure
GDP per capita
Proportion of population below poverty line
Literacy rate (male/female) (%)
Life expectancy at birth
Infant mortality rate
Maternal mortality rate

3.8% GDP
68.7 years
22 per 1,000 live births
221 per 100,000 live births


Health service delivery is based on a Western biomedical model of health initially introduced during the Spanish colonial era and strengthened during American colonization. This Western system is superimposed on a pre-existing alternative model of health care based on a mix of folk and herbal medicines, religious beliefs, and traditional practices that has persisted throughout the country. Indicators of health status have steadily improved since the 1970s. However, there is a high inequality in many health outcomes between socio-economic classes and disparities between geographical regions. The top five causes of death include heart and cerebrovascular diseases, malignant neoplasm, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. . The top five causes of morbidity include acute respiratory infection, ALRTI and pneumonia, bronchitis, hypertension and acute watery diarrhoea.

Health system strategies, objectives and legislation
Health Functions are largely devolved to provinces and municipalities. The Local Government Code (1991) outlines the roles of different levels in health care, including barangay (village), municipality and province. The Aquino Health Agenda: Achieving Universal Health Care for All Filipinos is the Philippines Government’s continuing commitment to health sector reform and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The National Objectives for Health (2011-2016) sets all the health program goals, strategies, performance indicators and targets that lead the health sector towards achieving it’s primary goal of Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP), or universal health care. The overall goal is to achieved the health system goals of financial risk protection, better health outcomes and responsive health system and it includes three strategic thrusts: 1) financial risk protection through expansion of the National Health Insurance Program, enrolment and benefit delivery 2) improved access to quality hospitals and health care facilities and 3) Attainment of the health –related MDGs The Aquino Health Agenda’s six strategic instruments are health financing, service delivery, policy, standards and regulation, governance, human resources, and health information.

Philippines Health Service Delivery Profile, 2012


Legislation that forms the regulatory framework for health system functioning and public health in the Philippines includes the following:
Organ Donation Act (1991); Hospital Licensure Act; Pharmacy Act, Dangerous Drugs...
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