Bringing a decade of expertise in health system governance and financing, Dr. Nikka Hao commenced her career in PhilHealth's (Social Health Insurance) Primary Care Benefit Team. Transitioning to the Department of Health in 2015, she has held pivotal roles in different DOH offices incuding the Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau, Field Implementation and Management Cluster, and Health Facilities Infrastructure Development Team.
In 2020, Dr. Hao became Deputy to the COVID-19 Surveillance and Quick Action Unit, implementing the national platform for COVID-19 real-time data that enabled evidence-based multisectoral action. In 2022, as Director of the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, she elevated evidence-driven policymaking to bring accessible primary care to every Filipino at all life stages.
Currently as Regional Director of the Cagayan Valley Center for Health Development, she is guided by the mission to build robust health systems, ensure equitable distribution of healthcare access for primary and specialty care, and ensure efficient and effective operations of all public health programs across Region 2.
An Atlantic Fellow for Global Health Equity, Dr. Hao holds an MSc in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing from the London School of Economics and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, an MD-MBA from the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, and a BS in Psychology from the University of the Philippines Diliman.