The Impact of Social Health Insurance in the Philippines 1972-2007

Posted: 15 Jun 2007

See all articles by Matthew Jowett

Matthew Jowett

Deutsche Gesellschaft Technische Zusammenarbeit

Eduardo P. Banzon

World Bank

John Basa


Date Written: June 2007


The Philippines initiated a national Medicare programme in 1972, which targeted only the employed sector. In 1995, there was a shift to the National Health Insurance Programme, as part of a major drive to achieve universal coverage. This paper discusses the impact of social health insurance since 1972 on the health system in the Philippines. Trends are examined in terms of the inputs (health facilities, human resources, funding) to the health system, activity (utilisation of health services, service quality) and outcomes. Particular attention is given to the incentives created by the health insurance scheme and their impact in terms of alignment with health policy goals, and the extent to which health insurance provides financial protection to its members. Data is drawn from a wide range of sources, including internal databases of Medicare and from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, as well as secondary analysis based on survey data.

Keywords: Philippines, health insurance

JEL Classification: I12

Suggested Citation

Jowett, Matthew R. and Banzon, Eduardo P. and Basa, John R, The Impact of Social Health Insurance in the Philippines 1972-2007 (June 2007). iHEA 2007 6th World Congress: Explorations in Health Economics Paper. Available at SSRN:

Matthew R. Jowett (Contact Author)

Deutsche Gesellschaft Technische Zusammenarbeit ( email )


Eduardo P. Banzon

World Bank ( email )

F. Ortigas Jr. Avenue, Ortigas Center
23rd Floor, Office Manila,
Pasig City 1605

John R Basa

PhilHealth ( email )


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