Hospitals serve as the locus of health care delivery in the Philippines.
Survey data showsthat most households go directly to hospitals for treatment of illnesses. With the breakdown of referral networks due to devolution, tertiary level hospitals which are designed to cater to moreserious diseases are also accommodating cases that can be handled by lower level facilities.This leads to tertiary hospitals requiring more financial resources to be able to attend to all itspatients.2.
The Department of Health (DOH) spends more than half of its budget for the upkeep of its tertiary level hospitals.
In the 2007 GAA, allocations for hospitals comprised 61 percentof the DOH total budget of Php11.4 billion. A total of Php2.7 billion was appropriated fornational hospitals while Php4.17 billion of appropriations were provided for health facilitiesunder Center for Health Development (CHDs) such as regional hospitals and medical centers.These account for 24 and 37 percent of the DOH’s total budget, respectively. Despite theircrucial importance in the healthcare sector, there is little systematic understanding of howpublic hospitals utilize public resources. Since the budget flows directly to the DOH-retainedhospitals, budget execution reporting and monitoring appears to be weak and so are theincentives and accountability structures to ensure that hospital services are affordable and of acceptable quality.3.
The share of hospital allocation in the total DOH budget has been declining.
From theprevious 60 to 66 percent recorded from 2003 to 2006, this figure declined to 59 percent in2007. Although in nominal terms the allocation for hospitals in 2008 was at the same level asprior years, its share in the total DOH budget saw a marked decline in 2008 accounting only to35 percent. This change reflects a shift in the priority of DOH from personal health care topublic health programs.4.
Payments to hospital personnel comprise the largest share of hospital budgets.
In 2008,personal services account for three-fifths of the budget. There has been a steady decline in theshare of Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures (MOOE) in the hospital budget, fromthe level of 44 percent in 2000, the share of MOOE declined to just 32 percent in 2008. From2000 to 2008, MOOE declined by as much as 52 percent in real terms. Capital Outlay had beenzero from 2001 to 2006, partly due to the fiscal crisis and the austerity measures imposedduring this time. Capital outlay was only distributed to all hospitals in 2007 but suchdistribution was scaled back in 2008 with only 13 hospitals receiving CO appropriations.5.
There appears to be no clear allocation criteria for hospital budget.
It used to be that thebudgets are based on the number of hospital beds but as hospitals evolved with more complexcomposition of cases, this practice is not applicable anymore. Hospitals that cater to morecomplicated cases such as Medical Centers and Regional Hospitals receive lower per bedallocations than Extension and District Hospitals.6.
Poorer regions are not receiving higher hospital subsidies
. In terms of poverty incidence,ARMM ranked the highest and at the same time received the least amount of subsidy allocationfor its DOH-retained hospitals on a per capita basis. Conversely, NCR and CAR (Cordillera