Can integrated microfinance and health programs reduce poverty-driven healthcare costs: a case of the Philippines

Masters Thesis


Liboon-Aranas, Lolita S.. 2020. Can integrated microfinance and health programs reduce poverty-driven healthcare costs: a case of the Philippines. Masters Thesis Master of Science (Research). University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/dt0a-j337
Title

Can integrated microfinance and health programs reduce poverty-driven healthcare costs: a case of the Philippines

TypeMasters Thesis
Authors
AuthorLiboon-Aranas, Lolita S.
SupervisorKhanam, Rasheda
Rahman, Mafiz
Nghiem, Son
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Science (Research)
Number of Pages83
Year2020
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/dt0a-j337
Abstract

Microfinance primarily provides financial services to its members. Globally, it has had a significant role in alleviating poverty and improving health among the poor. Microfinance has also been found to be instrumental in facilitating access to health-related services. Hence the healthcare agenda is supported by combining microfinance and health activities.

This thesis has two main parts. The first is a systematic review of relevant articles published since 1990, in the English language with no specific-country limit, exploring the contributions of microfinance and health initiatives in reducing healthcare costs. The second part explores evidence of the integration of microfinance and health programs in the Philippines, using a model cooperative. Secondary data was used to explore the design of health programs and how health initiatives could contribute to achieving Healthy Philippines 2022.

The first study revealed that microfinance could contribute to reducing healthcare costs through collaboration and by using different schemes of microfinance-health models. The second study also indicated that the integrated microfinance and health program of the model microfinance institution (MFI) is anchored by collaborative and partnership efforts. The health program was designed to operate in three main structures – subsidised or outreach, microinsurance and health loans, and patronage funds, which potentially could reduce the costs for healthcare service utilisation. These studies showed that integrated microfinance and health programs facilitated the use of healthcare and health-related services among its members; however, improved data collection mechanisms are needed for outcome evaluation.

This thesis supports the practice of an integrated microfinance and health program in the Philippines, which could potentially contribute to achieving the objectives of Healthy Philippines 2022, particularly in reducing healthcare costs. This thesis encountered limitations, so more studies to evaluate the integrated MFI health initiatives are recommended to further identify gaps, outcomes or impacts of the program.

Keywordsmicrofinance, health program, poverty-driven healthcare costs, integrated mcirofinance and health program, healthcare costs, Philippines
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020380108. Health economics
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Commerce
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