From The Report: Philippines 2021
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The Philippines’ universal health care (UHC) system is now operative, after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the bill into law in February 2019 and Francisco Duque III, the secretary of health, signed the implementing rules and regulations in October that year. This set the stage for 2020 to be the first year of UHC, strengthened by collaboration and the expertise of the private sector. Limited financing and a shortage of medical personnel remain legacy constraints on the system, with wide-ranging strategies to tackle both communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases among the growing population. Although the Covid-19 pandemic placed further pressure on health care infrastructure, the government forged ahead with its goal, deploying resources to priority areas as funds and capacity allowed. The private sector stepped up to fill some of the remaining gaps, and greater levels of cooperation between public and private actors are expected as UHC gains momentum. This chapters contains an interview with Eugenio Ramos, President and CEO, The Medical City.