PH aiming for universal health coverage by 2040 — health chief

Health Secretary Francisco Duque expressed confidence that the Philippines will achieve its goal of attaining universal healthcare coverage by 2040.

At the 71sth World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, Duque said the Southeast Asian country is on track that every Filipino would have access to to quality and affordable healthcare and “attain the highest possible level of health.”

“We envision our people to be the healthiest in Asia by 2040,” Duque said.

Speaking before health experts, the health secretary trumpeted the Sin Tax Law of 2012, a landmark landmark legislation that heavily taxes tobacco and alcohol, making it less accessible to the most vulnerable.

The income generated from sin tax funds the government’s universal health coverage through the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

“In 2017, legislation to increase taxation on sugary beverages was also passed, to fund infrastructure towards the provision of clean potable water in all public schools,” he said.

Duque also said a bill that will provide for Filipino’s access to comprehensive set of health services at an affordable rate is already in the pipeline.

“The Philippines feels that the discourse on global public health needs to be bold and ambitious if we are to cope with the unprecedented speed of change in health determinants that makes our work challenging but unspeakably fulfilling,” he said.

Duque led the Philippine delegation to the health assembly, which was attended by 194 United Nation member states.  /vvp

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