Philhealth-6 prepares for enactment of UHC law

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Regional Office VI is gearing up for the implementation of the recently Universal Health Care (UHC) Act.

In line with its 24th anniversary, the regional office gathered public information officers from various government agencies on Tuesday to discuss the salient features of the UHC law.

Philhealth-6 Acting Regional Vice President Janet Monteverde said they are ready for the enforcement of the new law.

“With you, reading-ready na kami sa UHC law. We have called the information officers of the different government agencies and media partners to give you the salient features of the law,” she said.

Monteverde underscored the importance of providing the correct information particularly to the clients of Philhealth.
“Kabay pa mamultiply ina kag mabal-an sang aton mga Ilonggos and aton indigent na basta Pilipino makaavail gid kamo sang benefits of Philhealth with the approval of the UHC law,” she said.

On February 20, 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Universal Health Care Act that will ensure all Filipinos with guaranteed equitable access to quality and affordable health goods and services and protection against financial risks.

The law automatically enrols all Filipinos to the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP).

Every Filipino will be granted “immediate eligibility” and access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative health services, under the law.

Meanwhile with the approval of the UHC law, Monteverde hopes to improve the referral system in hospitals in the region.

“Primary health care clinics, TB DOTS (Tuberculosis Directly Observed Treatment Short Course) package providers will be the first line of defense against sickness, followed by the district hospitals linked to the provincial government and government hospitals in the city,” she said.

According to Janimhe Jalbuna, head of Public Affairs Office of Philhealth 6, the UHC will guarantee that health benefits will start in the primary care or preventive side.

“Ang aton bag-o nga layi subong nagapasiguro man ang aton benepisyo maga-start sa preventive side, primary care pa lang until then we will take care of treatments sa aton miyembro,” Jalbuna said.

Before, Jalbuana said they were providing benefits for the primary health care to specific sectors but now all Filipinos will have access to primary health care services.

“Although we’ve been providing benefits for the primary health care pero indi tanan pa nga sectors. Initially we have launched this with our indigent and last year we expanded it to senior citizens. Pero subong ang hambal sang layi tanan,  dapat tanan gid nga Pilipino may access gid to the primary care services,” she said.

Jalbuana said this will translate to all Filipinos having access to primary health care services like consultation, diagnostics and laboratory examination.

“All Filipinos makaavail sila sang consultation, diagnostics kag laboratory examination and mga bulong man para matukiban kag indi na maglab-ot nga maglala pa ang mga sakit,” she added.

In 2018, Philhealth posted a stronger performance with a net income of P8 billion which is 671% higher than last year’s P1 billion.

According to Philhealth and Acting President and CEO, Dr. Roy Ferrer, such performance is enough proof that the National Health Insurance Fund is intact and protected to meet the rising health care demand of its millions of beneficiaries in the country and abroad.

“As stewards of the National Insurance Fund, we owe it to the members and stakeholders to keep their fund in excellent shape to meet all our financial obligations,” he said.

Based on their 2018 data, 98 percent of the 7,796,744 population in Western Visayas are enrolled in PhilHealth.