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Health is an important component of human development. A healthy and well-trained workforce attracts investments and spurs economic progress. For this reason, countries need to ensure that its health system provides adequate services to its population. Where the system relies on public and private providers, there must be effective synergy between the two sectors. In the case of the Philippines where inequity has been a major concern in health outcomes and service provision, policy makers face the following challenges: (1) reduce the discrepancy in the access to healthcare services among its socioeconomic classes; (2) reduce the discrepancy in the quality of health services between the public and private sectors; (3) increase the availability of services to geographically isolated and depressed areas; and (4) reduce out-of-pocket expenditures as a percentage of total health expenditure.

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  1. 1.


  2. 2.

    The focus is on differences that can be addressed using policy action. Disparities in biological and genetic conditions cannot be considered as inequities.

  3. 3.

    This section draws on earlier work by the author. See Mendoza (2008).

  4. 4.

    Recent empirical analysis of catastrophic health spending in India by Bonu et al. (2009) suggest that the poverty headcount in that country may have increased by as much as 28–31 percent due to health payments—translating to about 40 million people falling below the poverty line .


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Banaag, M.S., Dayrit, M.M., Mendoza, R.U. (2019). Health Inequity in the Philippines. In: Batabyal, A., Higano, Y., Nijkamp, P. (eds) Disease, Human Health, and Regional Growth and Development in Asia. New Frontiers in Regional Science: Asian Perspectives, vol 38. Springer, Singapore.

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