Tue, 26 May 2020

PhilHealth keen on UHC success despite transition challenges

Philippine Information Agency
13 Dec 2019, 16:38 GMT+10

CALASIAO,Pangasinan, Dec. 13 (PIA) -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is keen on the success of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law implementation despite some challenges it continues to encounter while on its transition phase.

The UHC, signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 20, 2019, aims to ensure equitable access to quality and affordable heath care and protection against financial risk.

Three coverages are now being pursued by the UHC law which are: population coverage which now covers all the 104 million Filipinos in the country; service coverage which is now wider, and; the financial coverage whereby not only the indigents will be covered by the 'No Balance Billing' policy but everyone, provided they occupy a ward room in the hospital.

Arsenia Torres, regional vice president of Region 2, said PhilHeath is still in its transition phase and the change in implementation could not be felt or seen overnight.

Torres explained in the 'Usapang UHC' with Region 1 media held in Pangasinan, that some three years is needed for managerial integration and another three years for financial integration. A mass registration is also being pushed to give a face to all figures or data.

"Hangga't hindi pa totally ready ang entire mechanism, we will go there step by step. But as of now, all 104 Filipinos in the country are covered by the law," Torres said.

Josephine Quiton, chief of the fields operations division in Region 1, identified some challenges encountered during this period which include the indigent availment where all indigent patients will not be billed effective Nov. 22. Those who are financially capable will be billed at a later date.

Effective Dec. 7, PhilHealth contribution will rise to 2.75 percent while contribution of self-paying members will now be P3,400 from the P2,400 annual basic contribution, Quiton said.

Madonna Vidal, chief local health information officer for Central Pangasinan, said the UHC is an integrated and comprehensive approach to health literacy, healthy living and protection from hazards and risks

"UHC imbibes a whole of system, whole of government and whole of society approach in the development of the nation. It also gives comprehensive heath services without causing financial hardship," Vidal said.

PhilHealth officers from Regions 1, 2, 3, and the Cordilleras gathered in Pangasinan on Tuesday for the UHC forum and the Area elimination of the PhilHealth Quiz Bee. (JCR/JND/VHS/PIA-1)

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