Capitol eyes UHC implementation next year

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Ernell Tumimbang said the province is eyeing the implementation of Universal Health Care (UHC) starting 2023.

Tumimbang said the provincial government is set to hold a health summit on Nov 24, 2022 in preparation for UHC implementation.

All Filipinos are entitled to health coverage that will lower out-of-pocket health expenses, following their automatic enrollment into the National Health Insurance Program.

Tumimbang said the health summit aims to identify government health care providers to fund the UHC implementation in Negros Occidental.

The PhilHealth and the Department of Health have been identified as among the “funders” of UHC implementation in Negros Occidental, which was identified by the national government as among the advance implementation sites in the country, he added.

This would mean that PhilHealth will be in charge of paying health care providers like hospitals and clinics for services given to Filipinos.

Although this is already a function PhilHealth carries out, the UHC law wants to pool more funds so it can cover all Filipinos and eventually, more services, Tumimbang further said.

Expecting funding from the national government, Tumimbang said a special “health board” for the UHC will be organized, on top of the existing health board, to manage the funds and to establish policy directions.

He added that mayors will also be briefed on the UHC implementation during the summit.

The provincial government currently continues to implement its Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Care Program (NOCHP), where the poorest of the poor are majority of its beneficiaries.