Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Social Health Insurance Claims for High-Burden Diseases in the Philippines [open pdf - 814KB]
From the Introduction: "As COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] continues to spread, governments are focused on tracking and managing COVID-19 cases and deaths. However, these numbers fail to capture the broader health impacts of the pandemic. In many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where health information and vital registry systems are relatively weak, the spillover health effects of the pandemic are seldom measured (Roberton, et al., 2020; Mikkelsen, Phillips, AbouZahr, & Setel, 2015). The Philippines has been severely affected by the pandemic. As of April 4, 2021, the country recorded 800,000 confirmed COVID 19 cases and 13,000 deaths (Department of Health, 2021). However, behind these numbers is the growing burden of non-COVID illnesses. [...] A better understanding of the direct and indirect health consequences of the pandemic would allow decision-makers to implement a more holistic and calibrated public health response. For this reason, we assess the extent and duration of changes in the use of essential health services in the Philippines. We analyzed the health insurance claims data from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or PhilHealth. We obtained monthly insurance claims of twelve (12) high burden diseases and the five (5) most common procedures from January 2018 to September 2020. These twelve (12) diseases account for about 50% of the total disease burden of the country (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 2021)."
Center for Global Development Working Paper 580
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