Many Filipinos are guilty of the dangerous habits of self-medicating, neglecting minor pains, resorting to traditional herbs to treat chronic diseases, or consulting “manggagamot” or quack doctors for cheaper fees. Yet many of us claim to be happy about their overall wellbeing. But you know how deadly illnesses can be traitors. Today you’re okay then tomorrow you find out that you’re dying.
Are you prepared for these kinds of emergencies?
PhilCare Wellness Index, a study launched by HMO provider PhilCare to quantify Filipinos’ sense of well-being gathered new insights into the country’s general health. The result of the survey was revealed in a media brief that was recently held at the New World Manila Bay Hotel.
This study was spearheaded by Dr. Fernando Paragas, lead researcher of PhilCare Wellness Index and Associate Professor of Communication Research College of Mass Communications at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.
In summary, the 1350 respondents to the survey rated themselves as feeling “somewhat good” in terms of their overall health. They also attested to feeling good about their psychological health. Meanwhile, most respondents also rated themselves as feeling “somewhat good” about their physical, lifestyle, nutritional, financial, and medical well-being.
The optimism of Filipinos about their health is high but most of them admit that they lack confidence in addressing future medical needs. Around 40% of them also said they were unsure whether they can pay for their medical bills. Meanwhile, 35% said they are unsure if they could afford regular medical checkups.
Checking on their history of medication, PhilCare Wellness Index found that 37% managed to pay their bills using their savings, while 25% ended up seeking help from friends and relatives to pay what they owe. Only 15% said they were able to settle their bills with the health insurance they own. And while there is Philhealth assistance for those who are employed, it was found out that only 63% of the respondents were able to use their savings with the said government agency.
Also present during the event were former Health Secretary and Chairman of the 2019 PhilCare Wellness Index Dr. Enrique T. Ona, PhilCare Chairman of the Board Monico Jacob and former Health Undersecretary Dr. Susan Mercado.
In a speech, Dr. Ona said that PhilCare needs to forge partnerships with the government and use the study to craft relevant policies. Many of us already know that the Philippines is one of the few countries left who remain close-minded about getting health-related policies while other improved countries make it a mandatory expense to invest every year.
To serve the Filipinos in their health needs, Tanco said that the 2019 PhilCare Wellness Index will be used by the company to develop more programs that are packed with features but can be afforded even by ordinary Pinoys. One of their newest products is the “Dengue Assist” voucher which covers 2 consultations and comes with Family Medicine and General Practioner Specialist at PhilCare Clinics. It also has a single-use benefit of up to 30,000 Pesos for hospitalization coverage due to Dengue disease in 500+ PhilCare accredited hospitals nationwide.
Other products are:
- ER Vantage Plus 60 For Adults which features single-use healthcare voucher that provides coverage of up to P60,000 for emergency care and hospitalization for viral and bacterial illnesses, treatment of injuries resulting from accidents (except for stroke) in 500+ designated PhilCare-accredited hospitals nationwide.
- ER Vantage Plus 60 for Kids which features single-use healthcare voucher that provides coverage of up to P60,000 for emergency care and hospitalization for viral and bacterial illnesses, treatment of injuries resulting from accidents (except for stroke) in 500+ designated PhilCare-accredited hospitals nationwide.
- ER Health Assist 40 for Adults which features a health voucher that covers multiple-use benefits for unlimited medical and dental consultations to Philcare Makati and MOA Clinics only and a single-use benefit up to Php 40,000 for outpatient emergency care and hospitalization coverage for viral, bacterial illnesses, and treatment of injuries resulting from accidents (except for stroke) in 500+ Philcare accredited hospitals nationwide.
- ER Shield which features a single-use health voucher that provides coverage for outpatient emergency care for viral and bacterial illnesses and treatment of injuries resulting from accidents (except for stroke) in 500+ designated PhilCare-accredited hospitals.
…and so much more.
To end, Dr. Paragas said that we are still at a long way to achieving the same positive results of other countries when it comes to health and wellness. He believes that to make a healthier nation, it will need the concerted effort of both government and private institutions.
Inspired by New Zealand’s The Sovereign Wellbeing Index of 2015, Canada’s Index of Wellbeing and United States’ The State of American Well-being of 2019, PhilCare Wellness Index is a study that serves as the second of its kind in the Philippines.
PhilCare President and CEO Jaeger L. Tanco said that the PhilCare Wellness Index was established to gather data that will determine the level of perceived health and wellness of Filipinos. The first study was launched in 2014 where PhilCare used the information as references to create affordable HMO plans that have been providing protection to its insured members.