Health and National Security, Foreign Policy, Trade Policy

Participants here may wonder what the relationship of health ...
policies of countries. Professor David Fidler in his Maloy Lecture on 5th October 2004
at Georgetown University asked if "...
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Health financing and national security nanagas


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Juan Ma. Pablo R. Nañagas

Professional Experience

Dr. Nañagas is a board director of the Center for Economic Policy Research and was the Director of Philippine General Hospital from January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2003. He was an Undersecretary of the Department of Health from 1992-1995 and a Director of the Philippine Hospital Association and the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology. He was also a Medical Director of Takeo Eye Hospital in Cambodia from August 2004 to February 2005 and an Associate Professor of the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines. Currently, he is an Medical Director of the Asian Eye Institute. He also became Chairman of the Health Care Industry Training Council from 2002-2008, an NGO established by the Technological Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to oversee the non-professional health care worker’s skills development. He has been involved as a consultant in various projects regarding health regulations, health financing, hospital reforms, the pharmaceutical industry and response systems to weapons of mass destruction.

Dr. Nañagas’ experience and expertise revolve around hospital and hospital system management, social health insurance, health systems, health issues of national security and ophthalmology.


National Defense College of the Philippines
Master in National Security Administration, 2002.

University of the Philippines
Master in Public Health, 2000

University of the Philippines.
Doctor of Medicine, 1974.

University of the Philippines.
Bachelor of Science in Pre-medicine, 1968.

Ateneo de Manila University
Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, 1968

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Health financing and national security nanagas

  1. 1. Health and National Security, Foreign Policy, Trade Policy Participants here may wonder what the relationship of health financing is to national security, foreign policy, and trade policy. However internationally health is now recognized as a major factor in national security as well as foreign and trade policies and speakers have shown that health financing is a critical component of health, no matter what the model. 1) Health and national security: A paradigm shift in the concept of national security is that other than traditional national security aspects as control of a country’s borders and preservation of the national patrimony, the achievement of human security (health, education, financial stability, and justice for example) contributes greatly to political stabilization and peace and consequently, security. A paper entitled Democracy, Conflict, and Human Security, a policy summary of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, states that democratic practice links the empowerment of people to critical developmental outcomes such as education, health care, and opportunities for livelihood. Another paper from Measuring Progress in Conflict Environments proposes a metrics framework for assessing conflict transformation and stabilization. Political moderation and stable democracy, a major mission element of conflict transformation and stabilization, seeks to include the delivery of essential government services. Parameters include public satisfaction with accessibility to education and healthcare Others are: the percent of population and percent of territory receiving essential government services and the distribution of essential public services to identity groups relative to their percentage of the total population. It is easy to see the potential benefits that a good health financing system can contribute in providing services in geographical areas and segments of the population that need it most. Even the United States’ Health Reform involves health financing. In effect therefore, good health financing is essential for health which in turn contributes to national security. Trade and Foreign Policy The United Nations and countries like the United States, Great Britain, and those in the European Union now recognize the relationship between health and foreign/trade
  2. 2. policies of countries. Professor David Fidler in his Maloy Lecture on 5th October 2004 at Georgetown University asked if "this political revolution reflects a transformation of foreign policy for the benefit of health, or a transformation of health for the benefit of foreign policy". His conclusion? “Health does not transform how we think about foreign policy; rather foreign policy can transform how we think of health”. Countries like Canada place a major emphasis on access to health care as a determinant of its foreign policy, linking health to security and democracy stabilization. The US imposes certain health initiatives as family planning, on its foreign aid. For example, major dailies reported on March 26, 2010 that the Millenium Challenge Corporation has deferred a $584 million compact agreement with the Philippines because RP has failed in 3 indicators: control of corruption, health expenditure, and primary education. Global trade regulations like the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), part of a central element of economic globalization, profoundly affect health and may put barriers to cheaper medicines. Reform of trade tariffs and domestic subsidies, debt relief and aid flows are often major factors that affect health. There is controversy regarding global pharmaceutical patents – with some countries like India and Pakistan advocating for the reform in order to provide cheaper medicines to the poor and others, particularly Western nations, protecting their pharmaceutical industries. Countries who evade trade agreements in the interest of public health have been penalized by patent owners through trade agreements. These issues affect health financing, specially in developing countries. Others: Lastly, we have yet to feel the impact of regional agreements on the free exchange of qualified health professionals in Asean. Will these lead to an influx of health professionals from less developed countries, giving us more providers for the money?