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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

ADB Approves $450 Million To Boost Universal Healthcare In The Philippines

In a significant move to fortify health policy reforms in the Philippines, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has greenlit a $450 million policy-based loan.

Empowering Health for All: ADB's $450 Million Boost Fuels Philippines' Universal Healthcare Program, Paving the Way to Equitable Access and Sustainable Well-being. | Photo: ADB

The financial injection aims to enhance Filipinos' access to essential medicines and health services, further solidify universal health care (UHC) coverage, and augment financing for UHC initiatives.

This substantial investment is part of the Build Universal Health Care Program (Subprogram 2), a strategic initiative amplifying the government's commitment to executing crucial reforms outlined in the UHC Act of 2019.

Among the pivotal reforms are sustainable financing for UHC, the integrated delivery of high-quality health services, and the interoperability of health information systems.

ADB Principal Health Specialist, Eduardo Banzon, emphasized the program's alignment with ADB's commitment to ensuring all Filipinos enjoy equitable access to quality health services without enduring financial hardships.

Banzon highlighted the program's responsiveness to gender-specific health issues and the intersection of climate change with people's health and well-being.

“The Build UHC Program is part of ADB’s commitment to deliver long-term support to the country to ensure all Filipinos have equitable access to quality health services without exhausting their finances,” said Banzon.

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Subprogram 2 introduces key measures, including an updated health financing strategy, a national medicine access policy, and the National Health Data Repository framework. Additionally, the government has expanded primary care providers and improved primary care benefits under the National Health Insurance Program.

Health promotion activities have been extended to communities, workplaces, and schools nationwide, with barangay health workers designated as community-level health education and promotion officers.

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The Build UHC Program underscores the Philippine government's commitment to annual monitoring of UHC outputs and introduces performance incentives for local government units.

This holistic approach not only addresses immediate healthcare needs but also focuses on long-term sustainability and resilience against future challenges.

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ADB's program partnership with the Philippine government dates back to 2016, and the institution has played a pivotal role in shaping and implementing the UHC Act.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ADB supported the Philippines through initiatives such as the Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit COVID-19, securing much-needed COVID-19 vaccines for the population.

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As a staunch advocate for a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, ADB continues its mission to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, ADB is owned by 68 members, with a strong commitment to supporting the region's health systems and fostering long-term well-being.

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