United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said he will raise public health spending to at least five percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in line with recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO).
“This will allow government to provide free medical treatment for serious illnesses that require prolonged hospitalization and often expensive treatments. It also replicates Makati’s globally-recognized Yellow Card health program that has significantly reduced out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare,” Joey Salgado, campaign communications director, said.
These serious illnesses include leukemia, early stage breast cancer, prostate cancer, kidney transplant, heart disease and cervical cancer.
Data from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) showed that Filipino households still carry most of the spending burden for health care, despite total spending for health care increasing by 11.7 percent year on year to P526.3 billion in 2013.
Private out-of-pocket spending accounted for 56.3 percent of the total or some P296.5
billion. Meanwhile, each Filipino spent P5,360 for health-related expenses in 2013 — a 9.8 percent increase from P4,881 per capita expenditure recorded in 2012.
“Ang health agenda ni Vice President Binay ay naka-angkla sa paniniwalang dapat walang mamamatay sa sakit dahil sa kahirapan, [Vice President Binay’s health agenda is anchored on the conviction that no patient should die because of poverty,]” said Salgado.
“Sa Makati, mula ipanganak hanggang mag-senior citizen inaalagan ng pamahalaan.
Ganyan ang pagkalinga at malasakit na gagawin ni VP Binay sa buong bansa, [In Makati, residents are cared for from birth to their senior years. This is what VP Binay will replicate nationwide,]” he added.
To minimize health-related expenses shouldered by the people, a Binay administration will implement nationwide a program patterned after the Yellow Card program of Makati, he said.
The Yellow Card program provides free maternal, child and elderly care; free outpatient consultations and medicines, and government-subsidized hospitalization, on top of PhilHealth benefits.
Salgado said the Yellow Card program, a key pillar of Binay’s tenure as Makati mayor and emulated by other local governments, shows that the Vice President is the only candidate who has the experience and track record in tackling the issue of health care.
“Only Binay has a proven track record of addressing the health concerns of the poor,” he said.
“No amount of black propaganda can diminish the truth that he has improved the lives of the people of Makati,” he added.
The Yellow Card program has been recognized by the United Nations-Habitat as one of the world’s best practices.
Salgado said a Binay administration will expand the coverage and benefits under Philhealth.
“Palalawakin din ang PhilHealth upang tuluyan nating makamit ang universal health care coverage. Dadagdagan din ang serbisyong ipinagkakaloob ng PhilHealth, kagaya ng outpatient services at libreng gamot, na siyang pangunahing pinagkakagastusan ng ating mga kababayan, [We will extend Philhealth coverage to include outpatient services and free medicine, which is the major expense of our countrymen,]” he said.