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Shortage of hospitals and health workers in the Philippines

Author: Hans Jesper Del Mundo

Editors: Motoi Miura, Akihiko Ozaki

(This essay was written when the author stayed in Japan in summer 2017.)

The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country consisting of 7,641 islands. It has a land area of 343,282 km2 and tropical climate with an average of twenty typhoons a year. It currently has a population of 100.98 million with the median age being 24.4 years, sex ratio (M:F) of almost 1 and a population growth rate of 1.51%. Our official languages are Filipino and English.

Although the Philippines currently faces the numerous health problems, only 4.2% of the country’s total budget is spent on health. One of its most important health problems is the high maternal mortality ratio, which was far from our goal 2015. Most of these deaths happen in rural and geographically isolated areas with no access to health facilities or health professionals. Such a situation implicates as if our country lacks doctors, nurses, midwives and others, though this assumption is not really the case.