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PHL spending on health care improves – NSCB

June 7, 2013 5:48pm
Philippine spending on health care increased by more than 10 percent in 2011, largely on higher payments by most sectors—particularly the national government, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said Friday, citing latest available data.
Unveiling the latest edition of the Philippine National Health Accounts (PNHA), NSCB Secretary General Jose Ramon Albert said the total health expenditure increased at an annual rate of 13.2 percent to P431.0 billion in 2011 from P380.8 billion in 2010. 
The PNHA is an itemized accounting of health care spending, according to the NSCB website. 
“The country's total expenditure showed improvements,” said Jessamyn Encarnacion, director for social statistics at NSCB. 
The 22.3 percent annual increase in the national government's spending on health to 53.07 billion in 2011 was “the largest growth among other sectors,” Albert said. 
“Increased budget allocations on health sector contributed to this growth, in line with the government’s commitment in implementing policy and programs for the effective delivery of health service,” he claimed. 
Spending on health by the local government grew by 9.2 percent, while private expenditures increased by 13.7 percent, data lifted from the PNHA showed.
However, health grants from overseas and employees' compensation on health financing shrank in 2011 from 2010. 
While the national government spending increased at the fastest rate, PNHA data showed private sources still accounted for the majority or 63.1 percent of total health expenditure in 2011. 
Household expenditures on health accounted for more than half of the total health expenditure—or P227.2 billion in 2011. 
The national government accounted for 12.3 percent and local governments were responsible for 14.7 percent. The remainder was accounted for by social insurance and grants from the rest of the world.
As percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), health spending amounted to 4.4 percent in 2011 from 4.2 percent a year previous. 
This is line with the Philippines' Southeast Asian peers, like Singapore (4.1 percent health expenditure-to-GDP ratio), Thailand (4.2 percent) and Malaysia (4.6 percent), according to World Health Organization data distributed during the NSCB briefing on the PNHA Friday.   
“Enormous investments in the health system is needed... anywhere,” Julie Hall, WHO country representative to the Philippines told reporters at the sidelines of the NSCB briefing.
At the same time, she said, there is a need for a consistent release of health statistics. — VS, GMA News
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