NOT THE torrential rains and flooded streets brought about by Typhoon Inday, and not even a high-level morning meeting in Manila can stop PhilHealth’s Acting Chief himself from attending an ‘Alaga Ka’ event in the historic city of Valenzuela on Friday, July 20.
Donning the popular green PhilHealth jacket on a windy and gloomy afternoon, APCEO Dr. Roy B. Ferrer graced his first ‘Alaga Ka’ since he assumed the reigns of the state health insurance agency in June of this year.
Addressing the 221 beneficiaries present during the event, Ferrer explained that the expression ‘Alaga Ka’ is short for ‘alamin at gamitin’ (to know and to experience), and went on to impress upon their consciousness the importance of being knowledgeable of their rights and entitlements to maximize them when a medical situation comes up in their midst.
The event is the seventh to be held in Valenzuela for 2018, he said, recognizing the abiding partnership where providing city folks with access to quality health care through social health insurance is concerned.
The beneficiaries in attendance, most of whom are indigent and sponsored members, were assisted in updating their membership profiles with PhilHealth, and afterwards given their Member Data Records and IDs which they can readily use if the need arises.
Among them is Ederlyn R. Casuco, a young mother of three and a resident of Lingahan in the district of Malanday, who also shared her experience when she gave birth to her third child John Philip at a government facility in Karuhatan in March this year.
“Mabuti na lang may PhilHealth ako dahil sa aking pagiging 4Ps (member) dahil kung wala ay hindi namin alam kung paano kami magbabayad sa ospital. P28,000 ang bill namin nakita ko sa statement.” Casuco shared at the sidelines of the event, with baby John Philip cuddled in her arms.
“Isang linggo ako sa ospital dahil na-caesarian ako, inalagaan pa yung tahi ko” she added. When asked what it would have been without PhilHealth, she said “hindi namin alam kung paano, maliit lang suweldo ng mister ko.”
Casuco is married to Ricardo, 30, who works as a construction worker. He was the one interviewed by the hospital staff shortly after her admission.
She recalled that they did not pay anything for the entire hospital stay because of the No Balance Billing policy of PhilHealth. “Nagpatali na rin ako para hindi na madagdagan ang anak ko” she proudly added. She was referring to the tubal ligation service that she also availed of and paid for too by the state health insurer.
Hers is among the countless of cases that demonstrate how enduring partnership between stakeholders in the health sector can bring about positive results in people’s lives.
“Isa lang ang ibig sabihin nito. Kitang-kita natin ang pagtutulungan ng pambansa at lokal na pamahalaan para maiseguro ang inyong kalusugan.” Ferrer further amplified.
The event was also graced by Drs. Jaime Exconde, City Health Officer and Mark Rey Matias, Chief Administrative Officer of the Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital who ably represented Mayor Rex Gatchalian; PhilHealth Head Executive Assistant Raul Dominic Badilla; NCR OIC-Vice President Gilda Salvacion Diaz; and a composite team from various units of the PhilHealth NCR. (END)(Rey T. Baleña)