Challenges in Attaining Universal Health Care in the Philippines
by Medical Action Group
While every Filipino is entitled to health care as provided by the Constitution, health care in the country is regarded more as a privilege than a right as poor Filipinos find it extremely difficult to avail of health care services.
Health care inequities
Infant and child mortality
While child mortality rate1 in the Philippines has been declining since 1998, the rate is still high compared to other countries in the region such as Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. According to the State of the World’s Children Report 2009 of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Philippines is one of the 68 countries where 97 percent of all neonatal, child and maternal deaths worldwide occur.
Based on the 2008 NDHS results, about one in every 30 children dies before reaching the age of five. The IMR for the five years before the survey (roughly 2004-2008) has declined from 29 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003 to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008. The under-five mortality rate (U5MR)2 has also declined: from 40 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003 to 34 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008.
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