The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) reported the crafting of Universal Health Care Law's implementing rules and regulations (IRR) is currently in full swing with the recently held stakeholders' forum and a workshop among its technical working groups created for the purpose.
The state agency is hastening the crafting of its part in the IRR in fulfilment of its commitment to operationalize the UHC earlier than the six-month maximum timeline set by the law. "The sooner that we finish the IRR (with the Department of Health), the earlier that this is subjected to public consultations, and more importantly the sooner it gets implemented for the benefit of our countrymen who have waited for so long for this reform in the health sector," Dr. Roy B. Ferrer, PhilHeath Acting President and CEO said.
PhilHealth recently conducted a Health Care Financing Summit with the theme "Multiple Lenses, One Collective Stand on Health Financing: A Framework for Action" to gain expert and stakeholder insights on how to better approach health care financing issues as input and guide to the crafting of the UHC's IRR. The event was well attended by local and international experts and representatives from the academe, health care providers, local governments, collecting partners, regulatory agencies, among others.
PhilHealth has also completed the first round of its IRR Workshop in Pampanga where the various Technical Working Groups presented and thoroughly debated on the first draft of the IRR after a series of meetings and discussions with other national government agencies.
The UHC mandates that all Filipinos shall be automatically included in the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP); guarantees immediate eligibility to program benefits; and for PhilHealth to come up with a comprehensive outpatient package which include outpatient drugs within two years after its enactment; among others.
"These and many other provisions of UHC have given PhilHealth a new set of challenges that we need to respond to with urgency and dispatch," Ferrer noted, saying that "given the magnitude of these challenges, the entire PhilHealth organization gears up to this call and musters all needed resources for the formidable task."
The state health insurer recently commenced its reorganization project to prepare the organization for the demands of the UHC Law, which also recognized all PhilHealth employees as Public Health Workers in accordance with pertinent provisions of Republic Act 7305 or the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers.
Ferrer noted that the success of the UHC should be ensured on all fronts and called for the continuous support of stakeholders and the citizens themselves to ensure its success. END