Tue, 17 Sep 2019

PhilHealth hastens Universal Health Care's IRR

Philippine Information Agency
12 Sep 2019, 18:38 GMT+10

B/Gen. Ricardo Morales, president and ceo of Philhealth addresses the questions of the local media practioners from Region 2 duirng his recent visit in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. (PIA photo)

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Sept. 12 (PIA) - - The President and CEO of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) said they are already finalizing the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law.

B/Gen. Ricardo Morales, president and ceo of Philhealth, during his recent visit in Tuguegarao City, said they went around the country to gather issues and concerns of health care providers and stakeholders relative to the crafting of the IRR.

Morales said the inputs of the health care providers and stakeholders were considered for the final draft of the UHC's IRR.

"We are already finalizing the IRR of the UHC. Once ratified, it will be a 'progressive implementation', meaning its implementation will be done in different phases and stages.

Once signed, PhilHealth will start to implement UHC in 33 identified areas and will expand it until it covered the whole country.

At present, the PhilHealth president said they were challenged with unintended consequences due to some 'fraud' caused by 'computer bugs'.

"We have adopted kasi the computerization which was supposed to reduce fraud and gather more patients' data. Now, we are working with hospitals and other stakeholders to reduce the fraud," said Morales.

Despite some unforeseen issues, the president said they already resumed the payment and doing its best to reduce the fraud.

For her part, Arsenia Torres, regional vice president, said with the implementation of the UHC, primary care providers are supposed to be expanded. "We will be adding private primary health care provider," she added.

She said the Universal Healthcare Act will seek to improve the doctor-to-patient ratio and upgrade hospital bed capacities and equipment.

Officials of the PhilHealth answer the questions from media practitoners in the region during the agency's expo's press conference. From L to R: Arsenia Torres, regional vice president; Dr. Shirley Domingo, vice president under the agency's Corporate Affairs Group; B/Gen. Ricardo Morales, president and ceo of Philhealth; and Oscar Abadu Jr., vice president of PhilHealth's Member Management Group. (PIA photo)

As soon as the IRR is signed, Oscar Abadu Jr., vice president of PhilHealth's Member Management Group, said since the implementation will be progressive, the identified 33 areas should be called "areas of implementation" and not "pilot areas".

Abadu said the local government unit's "readiness" and "willingness" qualified them to be the implementation sites. "For those that will not meet the selection criteria of the PhilHealth, they will be still accredited," Abadu added.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the Universal Healthcare Act, a measure that would provide health care coverage for all Filipinos. (MDCT/PIA-2)

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