• By The Financial District

ADB Loan Of $600 Million To Fund Universal Health Care

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD600-million policy-based loan to help the Philippines provide quality and equitable health services for all Filipinos as part of its universal health care (UHC) reform program.

Photo Insert: The Asian Development Bank headquarters

The Build Universal Health Care Program seeks to support the government’s initiatives to improve the financing and delivery of health services and implement measures to monitor the performance of health service providers.

The Philippines enacted the UHC Act in February 2019 to ensure Filipinos have equitable access to quality health services and avoid high out-of-pocket health expenses. It includes a series of reforms planned over several years.

“The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic has highlighted existing constraints in the country’s health care service delivery, which the government sought to address in its pandemic health response. This program seeks to boost the government’s ability to achieve its UHC goals and provide timely and equitable health care services, especially for the poor and marginalized across the country,” ADB Director of Human and Social Development for Southeast Asia Ayako Inagaki said in a statement Friday.

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The Philippines has automatically included all Filipinos in its National Health Insurance Program, as part of its UHC reform.

It also mobilized revenues from higher taxes on alcohol, sweetened beverages, tobacco, and heated tobacco and vapor products to help finance UHC and expand primary care services.

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“This new ADB program will help the government boost financing for UHC, expand the supply of health facilities and workers, enable the integration of health care providers, and enhance health system efficiency,” ADB Principal Health Specialist for Southeast Asia Eduardo Banzon said.

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