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Philippines’s health expenditure climbs to P526 B

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s spending on health increased to more than P526 billion with more than half of it coming out of the pockets of Filipinos, data from the Philippine National Health Accounts (PNHA) show.

According to the PNHA, which is under the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), public health expenditure was over P526 billion in 2013, or 11.7 percent higher than the P471 billion spent in 2012.

Of that amount, 56.3 percent or P296.5 billion came from out-of-pocket spending. These are expenses paid for by individuals for medicine, medical consultation and hospitalization. The percentage is higher than the ideal 45 percent.

Private sources like insurance companies, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and expenses by private establishments and schools accounted for P62.4 billion or 11.9 percent of the 2013 health spending.

The PNHA also showed that over P99.7 billion or 18.9 percent of the total health spending came from both the national and local governments in 2013.

Health spending through social insurance – composed of the National Health Insurance Program and employees’ compensation for health, both funded by government through premium contributions – amounted to over P60.4 billion or 11.5 percent of the total health expenditure. This was also lower than the 19-percent target.

Grants from international funding agencies accounted for 1.37 percent or P7.2 billion. This may be translated to grants for medical supplies and equipment.

When translated per individual, this means that every Filipino spends about P5,260 for health. About P2,961 comes from his own pocket, P994 from government and P605 from social insurance. But the total amount is still higher than the ideal per capita health spending of P2,000 prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH).

The 2013 data came from the Commission on Audit, DOH and its attached agencies, private and government insurance companies, HMOs and private institutions.

Raquel Sabeñano, PNHA coordinator, said the PSA would release the 2014 data soon. She explained that the process of obtaining data takes time, which was why the 2014 data is not yet available.

The PNHA would serve as a guide for the government in formulating its health budget and policy.

The PNHA is one of the bases for passing Republic Act 10606, which mandates all Filipinos to enroll in health insurance provided by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. 

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