Stakeholder Perceptions on the Challenges of Financing Debilitating Illnesses: The Case of Colorectal Cancer and Schizophrenia in the Philippines

Carl Abelardo T. Antonio, Amiel Nazer C. Bermudez, Kim L. Cochon, Fernando B. Garcia, Jr., Jonathan P. Guevarra, Jorel A. Manalo, Romeo R. Quizon, Roberto P. Salvino, Erwin G. Benedicto


Background: There is a perceived need among policymakers and other actors in the local health system to better address the challenges in financing healthcare, in general, and chronic or debilitating conditions, in particular, in order to develop appropriate policy and program responses.

Objective: This paper aimed to present perceived issues and challenges in financing schizophrenia and
colorectal cancer in the Philippine context, as identified by stakeholders.

Methods: Verbatim transcription of the proceedings of a moderated discussion of stakeholders in
schizophrenia and colorectal cancer care was analyzed for themes on challenges and recommendations in the financing of the two conditions in the local setting.

Results: A total of 28 stakeholders representing healthcare providers, professional organizations, health
maintenance organizations, patient support groups, and government participated in the meeting. Three main issues on financing debilitating conditions were identified by participants: a) government support for the two conditions is currently limited; b) coverage by third-party payors for schizophrenia or colorectal cancer is either absent or restricted; and c) the process of accessing medicines or alternative modes of financing for healthcare was perceived to be disparate and inconvenient for patients and their caregivers. Participants also provided recommendations in improving the mechanism of healthcare financing.

Conclusion: The general picture that emerged from this moderated discussion pointed to limitations in the prevailing mechanisms for financing schizophrenia and colorectal cancer in the Philippines. Improvements in the current financing mechanisms, and identification of alternative modes, is necessary to ensure universal health coverage.


Healthcare financing, Catastrophic illness, Perception, Philippines

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