September 16, 2019
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 In Expanding Access to Medical Resources

Country: Philippines
Delegate Name: Riley Gailey

Country: Philippines
Committee: ECOSOC
Topic: Expanding Access to Medical Resources
Delegate: Riley Gailey
School: Williamston High School

As nations have begun to industrialize, access to medical resources has become stratified by the wealth of a nation. Today, ½ the world lacks access to essential medical services and 800 million people that do have access, spend at least 10% of their annual income on health care costs (WHO). Every nation is struggling to provide access to equal healthcare in the poorer sectors of their state. In lower income nations, 10% of their medicine is falsified or substandard, lacking adequate effectiveness of the limited medicine available. By reducing competition in the healthcare industry, costs of medical expenses will go down, making resources more affordable/available to all nations, specifically lower income nations struggling to provide a wide distribution of health care services to its citizens.
The Philippines has recently implemented their Universal Health Care Act (UHC). The law works to make sure every citizen has access to the same care under the guidelines provided by the government. The problem with this policy is that there are not enough resources available to provide these medical services to all citizens, specifically those in more rural and remote areas of the nation that are harder to reach. Along with a lack of resources, medical technology in this lower income, developing country, is severely outdated. This makes the act wildly ineffective in providing adequate healthcare. Due to the more concentrated care of citizens living in urban centers, rural areas are experiencing increased poverty levels as compared to citizens based in larger cities. The Philippines lacks the resources to fully expand and fulfill the promise made in their Universal Care Act, although the act was recently amended during the pandemic to include covid care.
If more countries in the UN begin to adopt universal healthcare, this will decrease the financial burden of medical expenses for their poor, improving economic stability. The Philippines wishes to promote government investment into mobile care sites that would reach the non-urban and more remote areas of the country. This ensures that medical staff are not stretched thin in individual care centers. Telemedicine would also provide less expensive options for spreading health services. This not only reduces strain from government spending and doctors, but also the cost that these rural citizens normally face in travel expenses alone. In nations where universal healthcare is already available, the Philippines encourages adjustments of these policies to include COVID-19 care. As previously mentioned, reduced competition among healthcare will make universal health care not only more accessible to the public but also more easily available for middle and low income nations to take part in. This would include calling on certain nations to reduce the costs of some drugs such as insulin. The Philippines hopes to collaborate with Southeast Asian countries and those nations leading us in medicine, including the US, France, Canada, and Great Britain.

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