Submitted instead it comes unexpectedly. It give difficulties


Sociology / 3rd Year

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130 (Special Topics in Sociology)


on: December 26, 2017


to: Prof. Mario Aguja


Title: Access to Government Health
Services by the Residents of Norala


Concept Note

Health is a state of being physical, mentaland social
well-being. Also, it is being free from any illnesses and diseases. It is one
of the important aspects a human should have because it enables a person to
perform well the roles in the society and to finish the tasks in a short period
of time. It is a vital characteristics that should be possessed by a person to
do the tasks well in order to survive the everyday life.

In a society today, many people suffer from different
kinds of health problems. Based on the Social Weather Station, 8 out of 10 in
the population don’t visit the health professionals to check their health
condition. Health diseases don’t choose a person instead it comes unexpectedly.
It give difficulties to the affected people because it prevents them to perform
their tasks. It is important for an individual to be aware of the health
condition so that it will enable for a person to prevent or avoid it. It is
also essential that an individual should visit and see health professionals to
know the health status.

Government is one of the institutions that are
responsible for taking care of the people especially in terms of their health.
Government officials have the task to provide health services for the good of
the people.They have projects and programs that are implemented to take good
care of the health of the people because, if the people are healthy they become
productive which can contribute to the growth and development of the
country.Accessing the health services from the government is important for an
individual to monitor the health condition and to cure whenever there is a
disease. Everybody should easily access to the services given by the government
for their own good but, there are some factors which are hindrances for the
people to access it.

The researcher was interested to study this topic, to
know the patterns of people in accessing the health services from the
government and the challenges they experienced. The following are the related
studies that will support the topic and will help to form the conceptual paradigm
to better understand this study:

According to Hyun (2009), there should be an equity in
terms of giving the health services for the people of the Philippines in order
to ensure that every person have access to it. Everyone
should have the opportunity to access every time they need it for them to
monitor and secure their health. Based on the study, there is inequity in
accessing the health services in where individuals cannot have the same
opportunity in availing any services. Health services are provided by private
and public sectors in where, richer individuals are able to visit easily the
private health professionals for their health to be checked and they can afford
better quality medicines and services from the private sector. On the other
hand, poor individuals depend on the public sectors which are provided by the
government but, public health services in developing countries impose fees to
any services in which poor individuals can’t still afford to pay. Public
services are provided for the benefits of everyone in a society, however, the
services are often failed to reach the poor people because of some factors.
This study showed that poor people have difficulties in accessing government
health services because of their financial resources problem.

The Philippine Health Financing system is complicated
because it involves different branches such as health service providers,
regulatory bodies and financial sources. Health service providers are the one
who gives the need of the people in terms of health but there are problems in
providing for them. One basis of availability of health services is the number
of beds per hospital. Most regions in the country have insufficient beds in the
hospital for the patient except NCR, CAR, Sothern Mindanao and Northern
Mindanao. In addition, the country is abundant in health human resources that
are responsible to take good care of the people but they are unevenly
distributed in where, they are concentrated in Manila and other cities in the
Philippines. The regulatory bodies are the one who control and manage the
health system in the country but there is a problem in the regulation. They
unevenly distributes the health services in where most of the privilege and
utilities are in urban. Financial sources of the country for health services
comes from different sources, the national or local government, donation, out
of pocket and insurance. Utilization of health services can be determine by the
socioeconomic status of an individual. Most of the people live in urban areas
and have enough financial resources are confined in private hospitals.
Furthermore, those who have PhilHealth insurance has the chance to be confine
in private hospitals than those without PhilHealth insurance. Based on the
survey, most of the Filipinos who have low income preferred to be confine in
government hospitals if their family member needs it, for them to afford the
fees. Sometimes there are cases that poor people needs out of pocket for their
fees in confinement in where, it difficult for them because of the financial
problem. Affordability and excellent services are the main reason for being
satisfied, however, poor services from the government services are the reason
for being dissatisfied. (Lavado et al., 2010)

Based on National Demographic and Health Status (2008),
Philippines face different kinds of challenges in attaining health care for the
people. One of the challenges is the infant and child mortality rate. According
to the study of UNICEF, a newborn child in the country has the higher
possibility to die during the first month of life compared to the newborn
children in developed countries. This case vary on the place of residence,
socioeconomic and educational attainment of the mother. Place of residence of
the people can be in rural or urban areas. The study shows that people inrural
areas have this worse case or they have higher rate compared to those who are
in urban areas. Socioeconomic is one factor of this case, in every 1000 live
births, 59 children came from the poorest families die before their fifth
birthday compared to 17 children from rich families. The educational attainment
of the mother is related to children mortality rate because children born with
mother who have lesser or no education has a small chance of reaching their
fifth birthday compared to children with mother who reach higher education. One
important part of health care system is improving the maternal health services
but only few mothers visit doctors, mostly consults to midwife and some
preferred to traditional way or “hilot”. These challenges can be solved when
there is enough public facilities, health professionals and better services
that will serve and satisfy the people.

According to Leonard and Ziller (2017), access to health
services for the residents of Maine is important for them to check and monitor
their health condition. And for them to attain a physical and mental
well-being. Mental health status is one of the important characteristics for
the people that should be take care of. Access to health care by the people in
Maine are affected by different factors such as age, financial resources and
educational attainment. Based on their study, many of the adults or in old age
are affected by the mental illnesses just like depression. In addition,
financial resources is one of the factors that affect the people because many
of the poor are unable to visit the doctors and to check their health condition
also, many of them don’t have a personal doctor or health care provider that
will take good care of them. Furthermore, educational attainment is also a
factor in accessing the health services by the people. A person who reach a
college level showed a lower rate of depression on the other hand, persons who
have low educational attainment showed a higher rate of depression. The
findings of their study showed that the low socioeconomic status, education and
income really affect the mental health status of an individual.

According to Cetrángolo et al., (2013), there are
barriers that hinders the Filipino citizens in accessing the health services
from the government. First, lack of financial resources in where people cannot
afford to pay out of pocket fees whenever it is needed. Second, lack of
information on benefits that are provided by the Government. It is the reason
why many of them can’t avail and access to any services because they were not
informed of what are the services that are prepared for them. Third, lack of
resource to visit health facilities in where they need to pay costs for
transportation because of distance. Lastly, perception of poor quality of
healthcare services that hinders them to visit and avail any of the services.

As a result, the factors that gives challenges to people
in accessing government health services based on the related studies are
distance or place of residence, economic status, educational attainment and
government resources.

First, distance. Most of the poor people lived in the rural areas where
they are located in remote areas in which they have difficulties to access
their basic needs especially on health. For example, one of a poor family
member got disease or illness, they prefer to stay that person at home than to
bring him/her to the hospital because they thought the time they spend in
travelling and difficulties in there road while they are in their way. In
addition, expensive transportation. For example, the government have a free
check-up programs in the centre of their municipality only just like
“poblacion”, most of them didn’t go and avail it because they thought of their
expenses in transportation.

             Second, economic status of the family.
Expensive medicines and medical therapies. When they are sick, some of them
prefer to stay at home, take a rest and take of what only medicine they have or
they take alternative medicine just like herbals even though it’s not precise
for their diseases rather than to go in the health center and have a check-up
to take a precise medicine that is being recommend by the medical doctor. Even
if, the government subsidized the medicines for the poor people, some of it are
still expensive especially when that kind of medicine is in demand and if it is
for the rare diseases. In addition, when it comes to a rare diseases just like
cancer that needs therapies are cost highly because it needs a maintenance.
Furthermore, there are doctors who do business in which they invent or make not
only medicines but also for the people to buy it even though it’s not a
necessary needs just like diaper for babies. In addition, expensive admittance.
Some of them prefer to be cured by the faith healers or “albularyos” rather
than to be admitted at the hospital even though they have major diseases such
as dengue and cancer. Although they are not sure that they will be cure by the
faith healers, still they visit “albularyos”, because for them that is the
cheaper and essential healer for them to be cured.

Third, education. Education is one of the important aspect a human
should have in order to reach the economy’s standard and to have a better
position in the society. Education makes a person better. Education is one of
the factor that the people are easy or difficult in accessing the government
health services. If you have enough knowledge in availing the services or if you
know the process of availing, it would be easy to access. On the other hand, if
you don’t have any knowledge and you don’t know how to process the requirements
of the government for their services, it would be difficult to access.

Lastly, government resources. Government is an institution that provide
the needs of the public. They are also the one who is assigned to care the
people in the area in terms of security and health. Some of the health care for
the people are not provided because the resources of the government health
services are not available. Just like shortages of doctors and other health
professionals and also the resources for the medicine are not available.

As far as this study concerned, the people should access to every
government health services for the care of their health. In order for them to
perform their roles in the society and to participate in every activities of
the community. This would help not only their self but also it will help the
government economy to improve and develop.



Government Resources

Economic Status


Educational Attainment


Access to
Government Health Services
Access to
Government Health Services


Cetrángolo et al., 2013. Health Care
in the Philippines: Challenges and Ways Forward

Lavado et al., 2010. Chapter 1. The
Philippine Health System at a Glance

Leonard, Barbara and Ziller, Erika.
2017. Mental Health Status and Access to Health     Care Services for Adults in Maine

National Demographic and Health
Status. 2008. Challenges in Attaining Universal Health Care in the Philippines

Hyun H. 2009. Equity in Health and Health Care in the Philippines