Financing Public-Private Partnership in Health for Inclusive Recovery from COVID-19 and Stronger Resilience to future Health Shocks

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In the Philippines, COVID-19 has disrupted and strained operations for both public and private healthcare. And unlike public hospitals that enjoy implicit and direct government support and guarantees, as well as forthcoming infusions to support the fight against COVID-19, it is not clear whether private hospitals will benefit as much from this kind of support. This note briefly reviews the emerging evidence on the COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines, and it explores health sector financing that: a) benefits public and private hospitals already badly hit by COVID-19; b) supports a public-private partnership wherein private hospitals are “repurposed” to join the frontlines against COVID-19 and c) enables a more inclusive recovery from COVID-19 underpinned by a strengthened health sector built on public-private partnerships. The general argument draws on emerging evidence that countries with strong healthcare systems with test-trace-treat capabilities as well as the ability to tap a “surge component” are among those that responded more effectively to COVID-19. These are also the arguments for building back better from the COVID-9 crisis, in order to increase resilience in the medium term (while COVID-19 is still a risk), as well as the longer-term in case of future health shocks.