Amid the pandemic, more Filipinos are dipping into their savings to stay healthy

Ian Nicolas Cigaral - Philstar.com
Amid the pandemic, more Filipinos are dipping into their savings to stay healthy
Undated file photo shows senior citizens.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, File

MANILA, Philippines — Over two years into the coronavirus pandemic and its economic onslaught, more Filipinos are forced to dip into their own savings to shoulder rising health costs in the country, as government support to keep its citizens healthy comes up short.

Health spending reached P1.09 trillion in 2021, up 18.5% year-on-year, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported Friday.

Of that amount, 41.5% or P451 billion was paid out of households’ pockets. Data showed families’ out-of-pocket spending on health grew 9.2% year-on-year in 2021, higher than 4.1% annual growth rate recorded in 2020.

The latest report reinforces previous data which showed that overall, Filipinos regardless of age are spending more and more out of their own earnings to remain healthy.

This, while state spending on health slowed 16.1% on-year to P411.7 billion in 2021. Of the country’s total health expenditure, government support that came from its domestic revenues accounted for 37.9%.

Amid the pandemic, data showed P112.4 billion was spent on treatment of illnesses that now correlate with severe or critical cases of COVID-19. The figure was up 362.5% year-on-year and accounts for 10.3% of the country’s health spending in 2021, from just 2.7% in 2020.

The problem gets worse if one would consider the Philippines’ old population. With most senior citizens likely retired, chances are ballooning health expenses are exhausting their life savings, forcing them to rely on their families for support. 

PSA data showed that, in 2021, health spending reached P95.1 billion for the elderly population, or those aged 60 years old and above and considered “vulnerable” as they usually suffer from one or more illnesses.

The amount was up 35.2% year-on-year. By sex, male elderly spent more on their health than their female counterparts.

vuukle comment




  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with