Health spending hits record P896 billion in 2020

18-Oct-2021 Intellasia | PhilStar | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Driven largely by the pandemic, healthcare spending in the Philippines rose by nearly 13 percent to a record high of P896 billion last year from P796 billion in 2019, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

This is the highest recorded healthcare spending of the country since 1991 based on available data from PSA.

On the average, every Filipino spent P8,216 for healthcare goods and services in 2020, 10.7 percent higher than the P7,422 a year ago.

Over the past 29 years, healthcare spending in the country has been increasing at an annual average of 11.3 percent.

Despite the annual increase, the Philippines still spends less on healthcare than neighbouring Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.Experts earlier said this is a reflection of the longstanding challenges in terms of health financing, health service delivery, governance and health human resources.

Since last year, the pandemic has been exposing the severe weakness in health systems globally and exacerbating gaps in quality and service of healthcare.

The Philippines, for one, did not escape the constraints experienced during the pandemic, especially at the height of surging COVID cases.

Meanwhile, health capital formation expenditure went down by five percent to P108 billion.

The share of the country’s total health expenditure to the gross domestic product at current prices reached 5.6 percent, an improvement from the 4.7 percent in 2019.

In 2020, health spending financed through government schemes and compulsory contributory health care financing schemes had the largest share in health financing in the country. This amounted to P409.39 billion or 45.7 percent of the total.

Household-out-of-pocket payment, which was the top source in 2019, was trailing at P400 billion or 44.7 percent.

Voluntary health care payment schemes made up the balance of 9.6 percent, amounting to P86.39 billion.

Among healthcare providers, the spending was largest in hospitals (43.8 percent), amounting to P392 billion, up by 13 percent year-on-year.

This was followed by spending in pharmacies (28.2 percent) with P253 billion, higher by 3.6 percent from a year ago.

Meanwhile, the government of Japan pledged anew a total of 1.96 million additional doses of Japan-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine to the Philippines.

The delivery of the second vaccine provision from Japan is expected to come in batches within the month.

Japan first provided 1.12 million AstraZeneca doses to the Philippines in July. billion-2020


Category: Philippines

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