As cliche as it sounds, health is indeed wealth. It’s important to keep our physical and mental wellbeing in good shape if we are to continue living our lives and doing our tasks. It’s also important that we keep ourselves protected financially in case of any health emergency. This can be done by getting health insurance policies, malpractice insurance, and the like. There are several ways you can address your health properly here in the Philippines.
Despite this, there’s the notion that our local health services are of lesser quality. While it’s true that the Philippines still has a long way to go before we can reach optimal health care, let’s see and compare if the health care abroad is really as great as we think it is.
Local health services
First and foremost, perhaps the best health care service our country has to offer is the Universal Health Care Act as signed by President Rodrigo Duterte. It aims to make health care accessible and affordable to all Filipino citizens. When analyzed with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cube framework, it was found to cover two out of three aspects (the scope of the population covered and the extent of services offered) quite nicely. Its drawback with the second factor, however, is the fact that there is a shortage of medical personnel in the country. In fact, for every 1,000 Filipinos, there is only one physician available. So even if we are covered when we undergo various health procedures and consultations, we are limited by the lack of people to actually perform said procedures and consultations.
Aside from this, when it comes to the third aspect (the amount shelled out by Filipinos), it’s not quite perfect. Even with subsidies, it may still not be enough to lessen the out-of-pocket expenses of the average Filipino because of its less than expected budget of P217 billion.
Still, compared to other health care in different countries, the Philippines’ is relatively cheaper – with better services centralized in Manila. For those in the provinces, it would be a bit more challenging to find high-quality health centers, but this is currently being fixed by the law through the construction of centers close to remote areas.
Health services abroad
A quick Google search and you’ll see that the US has quite a pricey health care model. According to Investopedia, the price for it is two times as expensive compared to other developed countries due to the various costs that it entails. So from this alone, it seems as if the American dream of having great health care comes with a pretty hefty price tag.
When you compare it with Canada’s health care system Medicare, it pales in comparison so much that even Senator Bernie Sanders sees it as the model to follow. With Medicare, taxpayers fund the medical expenses of its citizens, thereby eliminating the personal expenses of patients. Even so, there has been criticism that it’s becoming quite outdated because of its other lacking aspects such as long processes for certain procedures.
With this, we can conclude that while the health care of the Philippines could be better, it’s not too bad compared to the health care of other countries. Despite their advancements in the medical field, the health care of these countries can still suffer in terms of affordability. This would be a huge issue in a third world country such as ours. What is the use of an effective, state-of-the-art health care system if we can’t afford it? At least here in our country, it’s cheaper and made more accessible.
Our Universal Health Care Act can still improve, but with its goal to have all our citizens covered when we get a wide range of services at an affordable price, we can be optimistic in how our health care can evolve to benefit everyone in the coming years.