The Philippines health system review

Publication details

Number of pages: 320
Publication date: 2018
ISBN: 978–92-9022–673-4


How to Cite this publication

Dayrit MM, Lagrada LP, Picazo OF, Pons MC, Villaverde MC. The Philippines Health System Review. Vol. 8 No. 2. New Delhi: World Health Organization, Regional Office for South- East Asia; 2018.


Philippines is the 13th most populous country in the world and one of the fastest growing Asian economies with a gross domestic product growth of 6.7% at the end of 2017. It has a decentralised health governance structure and is transitioning from an economy based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing.

The country has seen substantial growth in funding of its health programmes, leading to a major increase in coverage rate by the ‘Philippines health insurance corporation (PhilHealth), both in terms of number of people insured as well as engagement with public and private sector service providers.

Although much has been achieved to date, there are many challenges that still need to be tackled. These include a reduction in the prevalence of tuberculosis and childhood pneumonia, as well as managing the rising tide of noncommunicable diseases and further strengthening the capacity to manage natural and human-induced disasters. Equitable health service delivery is hindered by regional and socioeconomic disparities in the availability and accessibility of resources and there is maldistribution of infrastructure and human resources across and within regions.

None the less, the health agenda continues to have both political and fiscal support. The Government continues to aspire for an efficient, effective and responsive health system that delivers affordable and quality care. To achieve this end, the DOH is pursuing another wave of health reforms through the Philippine Health Agenda – 2016. These reforms aim to tackle underlying causes of triple burden of disease, ensure appropriate access by addressing fragmentation issues in service delivery through Service Delivery Networks and eventually reduce copayment for those insured by PhilHealth to zero.