Press Release/13 July 2019

The Department of Health (DOH) today reported its accomplishments from July 2018 to June 2019 as its contribution to the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster’s input to the 2019 State of the Nation Address (SONA) this July.

On the issue of inequitable distribution of health workers, the DOH was able to deploy nationwide a total of 31,157 health personnel to complement the existing pool of health professionals at the local government units, especially at the high poverty, geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA), and municipalities with indigenous peoples.

This means that 75% of 42,036 barangays with health workers were assisted, or 31,415 barangays.

The DOH also granted full scholarships to 1,831 medical and midwifery students and 271 scholars for the in-service Scholarships Program to address the human resources gap.

On the issue of out-of-pocket spending comprising 54.2% of the total health expenditure and that 1.5M Filipinos were pushed to poverty from access to health services, a total of 17.5M Filipinos were enrolled in the national health insurance program. This is higher than the 329,519 Filipinos who were enrolled in 2017.

Aside from this, about 1.4M indigent patients received financial assistance under the DOH Medical Assistance for Indigents Program to cover their hospital expenses.

The DOH also reported the laws that were passed during this period that impact on the health of Filipinos: Republic Act 11223 or the “Universal Health Care Act,” the RA 11166 or the “Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act,” the RA 11215 or the “National Integrated Cancer Control Act,” and RA 10963 or “Imposing Taxes on Sweetened Beverages” as part of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Package/TRAIN.

Some of the highlights of the above landmark laws included automatic inclusion of all Filipinos to the National Health Insurance Program (RA 11223), greater access to essential HIV/AIDS health services, free and accessible treatment to those living with HIV/AIDS (RA 11166), affordable cancer treatment and services through establishment of specialty cancer centers (RA 11215), and earmarked tax revenues primarily for nutrition and provision of potable water supply in schools and public spaces (RA 10963).

“With all the efforts we have exerted, we are confident that we have created a big impact in improving the lives of every Filipino,” Duque concluded.