No one should die of sickness because of poverty, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay said on Monday as he vowed to achieve universal health care coverage in the country.
This can be done, according to Binay, by implementing nationwide Makati’s Yellow Card program as an expansion of the PhilHealth program and spending at least 5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare services.
“We will establish a comprehensive healthcare system anchored on primary care, which is promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative, and provide free medical services for indigents and senior citizens,” he said.
The Vice President added that he will implement nationwide Makati City’s Yellow Card program, which was recognized by the United Nations-Habitat as one of the world’s best practices.
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.
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.
The UNA presidential candidate said he will spend at least 5 percent of the country’s GDP for healthcare services, which is in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations.
Binay said he will address the 3.5 doctors per 1,000 population ratio to the ideal 1.5 doctors for every 1,000 population by increasing the benefits for health workers, nurses, midwives and their families, aside from implementing the Doctors to the Barrios program.
The Vice President added that he will also establish and rehabilitate hospitals, clinics and evacuation centers and put up health centers in every barangay (village).
He said he will work for a 1:1 ratio of one rural health worker for every health center, aside from giving free medicines and services for indigents in the center.