The Philippines adopted the Primary Health Care (PHC) Strategy following the 1979 Alma Ata Declaration. The country already had a long history of PHC and community health programs as part of rural development programs and reforms in restructuring the health care delivery system. The Local Government Code of 1991 devolved the health sector to the Local Government Units (LGUs) while the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (TAMA) of 1997  provided for the “…. delivery of health care services to the Filipino people through the development of traditional and alternative health care services and its integration into the national health care delivery system”. In 2013, the Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Department of Science and Technology started the implementation of the Philippine eHealth Strategic Framework and Program which set the direction for the adoption of eHealth solutions to health care service standards and services including that for natural and man-made disasters. These legislative and program initiatives on health influenced the PHC implementation in the Philippines hence the need to review the status of PHC in the country. The eight essential elements of PHC effectively integrates the health and social development aspects of the health system: (a) safe water and sanitation; (b) food and nutrition; (c) maternal and child health; (d) immunization; (e) curative care; (f) essential drugs; (g) health education; (h) traditional medicine; and (i) community development. In spite of the integrating PHC framework and elements, the physical, social and environmental vulnerabilities of the country as a whole has led to disruptions in health systems development. The Philippines, which was hit by at least 274 typhoons and other natural disasters between 1995 and 2015, making it one of the five countries worldwide that were struck by the most weather-related calamities during the 20-year period, according to the Geneva-based United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). These disruptive events brought about by natural and man-made disasters have also disrupted health service delivery mechanisms and health programs implementation. The national and local health systems have adjusted to these events and in the process adopted resilience and recovery measures to ensure the continuity of services. These current challenges to the health system require an analysis of the determinants of operational continuity in the delivery of essential primary health care service. Subsequently, using strategies to ensure that the structures and processes of these determinants need to be identified, described and forwarded as recommendations.
The expected output is a health system research study and policy recommendations to address the following policy questions:
1. What are the key determinants of operational continuity in the delivery of essential primary health care services in times of disruptive events?
2. What are the strategies to ensure that structures and processes of these determinants are in place such that primary health care systems will remain operational when exposed to disruptive events such as disasters and disease outbreaks?
Republic Act 7160 known as AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991
Republic Act 8423 known as the “Traditional Medicine and Alternative Medicine Act of 1997”.
World Health Organization (2011) Philippine Country Consultations on Draft Strategy for Primary Health Care and Health Systems Strengthening, Final Report