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Filipinos Are Generally Happy About Their Health, Philcare Wellness Index Reveals

Staff ni Anjie
Despite the lack of regular check-ups and being unprepared to pay for various medical needs, many Filipinos feel good about their health and well-being, a nationwide study dubbed as the Philcare Wellness Index revealed.

PhilCare Wellness Index - Pinoys Happy About Their Health
PhilCare Wellness Index - Pinoys Happy About Their Health

According to the said research, most of the respondents rated themselves to be in overall good health, and many believed that they have the ideal weight, even though with their bodies not being in tip-top shape.

What they perceive on their physical health is almost the same with their physical disposition, as an average count of respondents shared that they lead a meaningful life, and that they are well-respected and satisfied with their lives.

The said research, led by the University of the Philippines Professor Dr. Fernando Paragas, was conducted in key parts of the country where respondents were asked to rate themselves using a seven-point scale, with one as “very good” and level seven which is “very bad.”

A total of 1,350 respondents from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao were interviewed face-to-face during the data gathering phase of the study. The PhilCare Wellness Index was also designed in 2014 and 2019 to determine “the state of being happy, healthy, or successful” among Filipinos.

The study was inspired by wellness and health indices in New Zealand (The Sovereign Wellbeing Index of 2015), Canada (The Canadian Index of Wellbeing), and United States (The State of American Well-Being of 2017).

Based on the research, most of the respondents rated themselves as “somewhat good” in terms of overall health, which tallied a score of 2.84, the same rating that the respondents gave to themselves in terms of their physical, lifestyle, nutritional, financial, and medical well-being.

However, 40 percent of the respondents also admitted that they lack the confidence to address their medical needs and are unsure of their capability to pay for their medical bills. Thirty-five percent of the respondents, on the other hand, said that they are not sure if they can afford regular medical checkups.

The survey also found out that 60 percent of the respondents have accumulated up to PhP 30,000 pesos in medical bills. Among the sources of the funds they used for payment include savings (37%), help from friends and relatives (25%), and health insurance (15%).

Among the respondents that were hospitalized in the previous year, the survey also revealed that only 63 percent of them managed to use their PhilHealth benefits to ease the burden of their medical expenses.

PhilCare President and CEO Jaeger L. Tanco
PhilCare President and CEO Jaeger L. Tanco

According to Jaeger L. Tanco, the results of the findings are a great help in determining the services the health sector could come up with to address the needs of Filipinos.

"There is more to health than just the absence of disease. Our vision is to help promote a brand of health that is holistic and inclusive. The PhilCare Wellness Index gives us a clear picture on where we are when it comes to wellness and, more importantly, it charts a clear path on how far we can go to promote health among Filipinos," he said.

The 2019 PhilCare Wellness Index is the second study of its kind in the Philippines. PhilCare also commissioned the first study in 2014 and the survey allowed the HMO company to develop affordable and responsive medical insurance plans that provided coverage to thousands of uninsured Filipinos.

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