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Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon is New PhilHealth President and CEOOctober 19, 2011

A NEW President and CEO for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has assumed office Monday.

Eduardo P. Banzon, M.D., MSc., former PhilHealth Vice President for Health Finance Policy Services, was formally welcomed into office by Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona, PhilHealth Executive Vice President and COO Atty Alexander A. Padilla and the rest of the PhilHealth community in Monday's flag ceremony at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City.

Shortly before his return stint to PhilHealth, Banzon was a Senior Health Specialist of the World Bank, providing assistance to the Philippines and other East Asian countries on health financing, health service delivery, and health regulations.

He is a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and took his MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was a Clinical Associate Professor in the UP College of Medicine and a faculty member of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.

In his message, Banzon emphasized the need to ensure that all Filipinos are provided with social health insurance coverage, ensure that members are aware of their benefits and are educated on how these may be availed of. He also stressed that PhilHealth should continue to treat hospitals and doctors as partners, and that this partnership should be coupled with "tamang pagpo-proseso ng claims."

Noting that in most countries the fee-for-service payment for claims is no longer used, Banzon expressed his desire to pursue the case payment mechanism. "Halos wala nang social health insurance na nagbabayad ng fee-for service. Bibilisan natin ang case payment, kakausapin natin ang Board na kung puede, lahat na pagbayad ng sakit ay naka-case payment na." He also put emphasis on the 'walang dagdag bayad' or the no balance billing policy that comes with the new case rates as a critical step towards attaining the goals of universal health care.

He was also optimistic that the PhilHealth Corporate Center will be completed "sa pinakamabilis na panahon," even as he called for increased investments in information technology systems to make transactions faster and more reliable, and on building up the capacity and capability of PhilHealth's human resources.

Banzon is the sixth President and CEO of PhilHealth. He was preceded by Atty. Jose A. Fabia, now Director-General of the Philippine InformationAgency (PIA), actuary Enrique M. Zalamea, Dr. Francisco T. Duque III, now Chairman of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Lorna O. Fajardo, now consultant to the PhilHealth Board Chairman, and Dr. Rey B. Aquino, former Mayor of the City of San Fernando in Pampanga and Congressman. (END)

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