The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) recognizes the importance of taking care of the elderly population thus, affirms its commitment to provide adequate protection for their health needs.
“The elderly population needs to be cared for, and your PhilHealth will continue to work hand-in-hand with organizations like the Philippine Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology (PSGG) to make caring for the elderly a stronger advocacy.”
This is the essence of the message imparted by Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas, PhilHealth’s Head Executive Assistant – Office of the President and CEO and Concurrent OIC – Vice President of the Corporate Affairs Group in a keynote speech during the 5th Annual Convention of the PSGG held recently at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Quezon City.
Pargas was welcomed by the officers and staff of the Society led by its current President, Dr. Joel Eleazar; Dr. Ma. Margarita Flynda Liwag-Atienza, Overall Convention Chair; Dr. Shelley Ann De La Vega, Geriatrician; and Dr. Miguel Ramos, former Head of the Geriatric Center of St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. A Certificate of Appreciation was also presented to Pargas as Keynote Speaker and Guest of Honor following the Ribbon-cutting Ceremony which formally opened the exhibit in the venue.
This year’s theme, “Saklolo, Saklola”: Problems Updates in Aged Care focuses on older adults who have special health care needs that can make their medical care more complicated. Moreover, there is a need for health care providers to face the challenge of being ready for the demands of the aging population. The PSGG has been the only interdisciplinary organization in the Philippines composed of doctors, nurses, allied medical professions and lay persons providing forum for sharing new information and updates to professionals who provide care for the older persons in society.
Just recently, PSGG is already an official member of the International Association of Geriatric and Gerontology and is also representing the Philippines overseas.
Being the country’s largest purchaser of health care services, PhilHealth is doing its best to take care of the elderly by providing financial risk protection and access to essential health services. While witnessing the growth of the older population in the country, there is also an increasing demand on their health care needs and treatment. Aside from the regular Lifetime members, PhilHealth also responds to the health concerns of senior citizens by automatically enrolling them to the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) by virtue of R.A. 10645.
An array of hospitalization benefits may be availed of by older adults with more than 4,000 case rate packages made available for the elderly PhilHealth members and their legal dependents. Among the common causes of hospital admissions for older adults are Pneumonia-High Risk (P32,000.00), Hypertension – Stage II (P9,000.00), Osteoporosis – Unspecified (P7,900.00), Osteo-arthritis (P7,000.00), Other Vascular Dementia (P7,800.00), Cardiac Arrhythmias (P12,200.00), Congestive Heart Failure (P15,700.00), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (P12,200.00), Myocardial Infarction (P12,000.00), Complications of Diabetes Mellitus with other specified complications (P12,600.00) and Asthma (P9,000.00).
Pargas reiterated that geriatric health is also among the priorities and is top-of-mind of government. With the latest approval of Administrative Order No. 2017-0001 of the Department of Health entitled Policy Guidelines on the Standards of Care for Older Persons in all Health Care Settings, PhilHealth vows to ensure that these guidelines are considered in accrediting licensed health care facilities.
In an interview, Ramos said that “It’s good news that PhilHealth really works on the benefit packages. And we are happy that acute care is being taken cared of by PhilHealth. But we want it somehow extended in the long term care or outside and that is what we are doing right now.” He also stressed that, “as part of an ageing population, we are considered an ageing population with 6% to 8% now. Few years from now, it will grow to as high as 12% to 15%. So tayo ‘yun. We need to be prepared.” He added that, “we are the second wave. But I think, we are on the right track. We just need to help each other.”
With these developments, PhilHealth and PSGG shall closely coordinate together in order to strengthen their partnership in delivering quality health care for the older generation. (END) (by Glomeda C. Pactores; Photos by Jose Mari Sanvicente)
(Reference: Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas, Head Executive Assistant and Concurrent OIC-Vice President for Corporate Affairs Group, Cel No. 0917-8089399)