Learning from Cuba and the United Kingdom: Towards Building a Universal National Health Services (NHS) for the Philippines

This policy brief intends to do the following: describe how the current public health care system in the Philippines failed to reduce healthcare-related out-of-pocket payments (OOPPs) for many citizens; present data on PhilHealth's unstable financial situation which limits the public insurance system's capacity to finance free health care; and outline a Cuban- & UK-inspired practical plan to build a Philippine National Health Services (NHS). The proposed recommendations seek to provide 100% free health care to all citizens through a three-pronged approach: increasing national government expenditure on health care; optimizing PhilHealth's collection efficiency and corruption prevention and transitioning towards a fully public health care system. The proposed policy action will re-channel all premium payments to the public health care system where PhilHealth's support value is demonstrably more maximized and beneficial. The prescriptions aim to reduce co-payments or huge OOPPs which would enable a universal, accessible, and inclusive public health system.