Philippines ramps up healthcare budget for 2020

The country’s government has allocated $3.2b to the health sector.

The Philippines finalised its $81b (PHP4.1t) national budget in January 2020, a 12% increase from 2019’s budget, and allocated $3.2b (PHP164.7b) for the health sector.

About half, $1.3b (PHP67.4b), went to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, whilst $1.1b (PHP59.6bn) went to hospital services, and the remaining $670m and (PHP34.2b) to public health services.

The budget also allocated $150m (PHP7.5b) for the National Immunization Program, $810m (PHP41.1b) for the Health Facilities Operations Program, and $370m (PHP19.1b) for the purchase of drugs, medicines, and vaccines for distribution to various government health facilities.

According to a note by Fitch Solutions, the country’s Department of Health (DOH), being one of the major recipients of the national budget, will have increased capabilities to build and upgrade medical infrastructure nationwide and address the scarcity of employed health personnel across public health facilities, particularly in hard to reach areas.

Fitch Solutions believes that due to the country's concerted effort to improve the health and well-being of its population, the Philippines healthcare and pharmaceutical market is set to experience robust growth. With that, healthcare expenditure in the Philippines is expected to grow steadily through to 2029, rising from $17.2b (PHP897.4b) to $60.7b (PHP3.1t). 

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