The Philippines counts over 110 million people, ranking as one of the most populated countries in the region. Its health expenditure as a percentage of its GDP represents one of the lowest figures in South East Asia in terms of healthcare spending per capita. However, this rate has grown at a considerable pace due to rapid economic development. The Philippine government aims to expand health coverage to 100% by 2022. The country passed the Universal Health Care Act in 2019, which automatically enrolls all citizens in the National Health Insurance Program, requires all healthcare service providers to maintain a health information system, and incentivises the integration and use of telemedicine.
What are the challenges of the healthcare system?
While the public sector offers basic healthcare to all Filipinos, the private sector tends to be rated more highly in terms of facilities and technologies. Large private players have outlined plans to improve bed ratios, which nationally stand at just above one bed per 1,000 Filipinos. The government instituted measures to improve the conditions of public health facilities by partnering them with appropriate private-sector entities. The Philippines has the lowest ratio of medical doctors among the countries studied in this report. Access to healthcare services remains a challenge for many Filipinos. As the country covers many separate islands, it is difficult to provide all citizens with an equitable and efficient delivery of medical treatment.