PH Confident of Achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2040 


DOH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III delivers bold commitments during the 71st World Health Assembly (Geneva PM photo)

GENEVA 04 June 2018 — The Philippines is confident it will be able to achieve its goal of attaining universal health care coverage by 2040.

“We envision our people to be the healthiest in Asia by 2040,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque declared in the recently concluded 71st World Health Assembly at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Secretary Duque cited the passage of the Sin Tax Law in 2012, a landmark legislation that makes tobacco and alcohol less affordable to the most vulnerable, which funds the government’s Universal Health Coverage under PhilHealth.

In his remarks during the opening session, Secretary Duque said the Philippines is on track to ensure that every Filipino attains the highest possible level of health, has access to quality, affordable healthcare, and has the best possible health outcomes. 

“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,” Secretary Duque said. 

These and other health initiatives and fiscal measures are designed to promote healthy lifestyles for all Filipinos, he added.

This year, a bill is already in the pipeline that will ensure that all Filipinos have access to a comprehensive set of health services at an affordable rate, without suffering undue financial hardship, according to him.

The bold statement comes at the heels of the approval of the 13th General Program of Work of the World Health Organization (WHO) – the document that will direct the work of the Organization in the next five years. 

“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,” Secretary Duque said. 

Secretary Duque led the Philippine Delegation to the 71st World Health Assembly, that was participated in by delegates from 194 UN Member States who restated their commitments to achieving universal health coverage by 2030.END

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