Growth does not automatically translate to more inclusive health services. Traditional trickle-down economics is too hopeful as a prescription for the reduction of poverty and social inequity. While growth may be a necessary condition for more inclusive development, it is not sufficient; complementary policies and programs need to be put in place so that growth also improves the health status of the general population. Many opportunities exist today to make growth more inclusive through improved health financing, regulation and planning, and service delivery. The key is to capitalize on these opportunities while addressing attendant challenges and issues.
This is the third in a series of three policy notes on health prepared for the 11th Development Policy Research Month in September 2013 themed “Making Health More Inclusive in a Growing Economy.” The first policy note in this series provides an overview of the puzzle of economic growth and stalled health improvement in the country while the second explains the large disparities in health status between the poor and the nonpoor in the Philippines.