The Philippines health system review (Ist Edition)

How to Cite this publication

Romualdez Jr. A, Rosa J, Flavier J, Quimbo S, Hartigan-Go K, Lagrada L, et al. The Philippines Health System Review. Vol.1 No.2. Manila: World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Western Pacific, 2011.


The health status of Filipinos has improved dramatically over the last 40 years, with a two-thirds drop in infant mortality, lower prevalence of communicable diseases and life expectancy to over 70 years. However, the country is grappling with considerable inequities in access to health care. Despite the creation of a national health insurance agency, PhilHealth, in 1995, out of pocket payment levels are high.

A major reform was introduced in 2010 to increase the number of poor families covered by PhilHealth and to reduce or eliminate co-payments. Current and future challenges for the health care system include staff retention, service delivery inefficiencies, the rise in noncommunicable diseases and the challenge of reaching populations in remote areas.