Health is the main priority of Filipino households when it comes to spending, according to the latest updates on the Philippine National Health Accounts (PNHA) released by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).
For 2010, households shared 52.7 percent of the total health expenditure, while the government contributed 26.5 percent.
It noted that other private sources, such as health maintenance organizations, private insurance companies, and other private establishments shouldered 10.2 percent; social insurance and employees’ compensation, 8.9 percent and the remaining 1.7 percent came from foreign grants.
Moreover, the PNHA showed that out of the P379.3 billion total expenditure on health for 2010, P298.5 billion was spent on personal health care and P40 billion each went to public health care and to other health-related expenses.
The local government still spent more than the national government from 2007 to 2010. Donor support poured in 2009 and 2010, following a slump in 2007.
It also stated that health benefit payments from social insurance, specifically the National Health Insurance Program, showed exceptional growth over the period.
On the other hand, the PNHA added that the country’s total health expenditure showed improvements from 2007 to 2010, but the growth rates revealed an uneven trend for both current and constant prices.
At current prices, the total outlay for health went up from P268.9 billion in 2007 to P379.3 billion in 2010, registering an average growth rate of 12.1 percent during the period.
It continued that with the total health expenditure growing faster than population, per capita health spending at current prices went up by P316 in 2008, P386 in 2009 and P333 in 2010.
Fastest growing sector
The PNHA further said that social insurance in the Philippines and the rest of the world were the fastest growing sectors in terms of health expenditure from 2007 to 2010, although their actual contributions remained way below those of government and private sources.
While Filipino households still bore the bulk of spending for their health needs, private out-of-pocket expenditures showed a generally decreasing trend from 55 percent in 2007 to 52.7 percent in 2010.
It also mentioned that the government came in a far second to private households in terms of health spending contribution, with the national government and local governments footing 11.2 percent and 15.3 percent in 2010, respectively.
The local governments consistently spent more than the national government from 2007 to 2010.
In addition, the PNHA announced that out of seven health care financing indicators with targets set as part of the National Objectives for Health 2005 to 2010, only two were within the targets for 2007 to 2010, namely total health expenditure as a percentage of gross national income and per capita health expenditure.
According to NSCB, PNHA presents information on how much is spent on health care goods and services and who is paying for these goods and services.
“This information is useful in analyzing the appropriateness of the levels, composition and structure of health expenditures, especially those of the government,” NSCB Secretary General Jose Ramon Albert said.
He noted that the data can also help determine whether the aggregate health care spending from all sources, that is, the government, the social insurance sector, the private sector, and the rest of the world, is adequate to meet minimum requirements and identify probable areas of inefficiencies in allocating health care resources.