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PhilHealth holds Health Care Financing Summit May 6, 2019

State health insurance agency Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has concluded a successful two-day activity dubbed as Health Care Financing Summit which focuses on the theme: "Multiple Lenses, One Collective Stand on Health Financing: A Framework for Action." This was held on March 18-19, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria Hotel as part of PhilHealth's 24th anniversary celebration.

The summit provides a multi-stakeholder platform for collective action towards effectively implementing reforms in health care financing which is a key element in achieving universal health care.

APCEO Dr. Roy B. Ferrer

Aside from key officers from PhilHealth, around 200 participants from partner-stakeholders representing the academe, health administrators, professional organizations, health care providers, private sectors, migrant groups, Local Chief Executives, Indigents, development partners, civil societies, media partners, and other government agencies, attended the event.

PhilHealth Acting President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Roy B. Ferrer expressed his optimism that the gathering of hearts and minds from the experts and partner-stakeholders will clearly define the different perspectives and viewpoints in which the end goal is always for the common good of the Filipino people.

"Nakasalalay po sa atin ang kinabukasan sa pagseseguro sa kalusugan ng bawat Filipino… nasa ating mga kamay ang magiging kahihinatnan ng batas na ito," Ferrer said. "If we want this to be successful, then we must act and work together for our goals to be achieved successfully especially where our vision of ‘Bawat Filipino, Miyembro, Bawat Miyembro, Protektado, Kalusugan ng Lahat, Segurado is concerned" says the PhilHealth Chief.

DOH Sec. Francisco T. Duque III

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III delivered his inspirational message that drew excitement due to the passage of the Universal Health Care Act through Republic Act 11223. He stressed on the essence of the law by simply ensuring that all Filipinos are guaranteed equitable access to quality and affordable health care goods and services, much more, provides protection against financial risks.

According to Duque, "We need a bolder and braver PhilHealth in order to drive universal health care." He added that, "Let us implement responsively. Bagamat hindi biro ang hamon ng UHC, pero kaya natin ito! Katuwang ng PhilHealth ang DOH tungo sa UHC."

During parallel session on Strategic Purchasing of Health Services, moderated by Dr. Albert Francis E. Domingo, Consultant, World Health Organization. (L-R) Dr. Antonio L. Dans – UP–Philippine General Hospital; Dr. Narisa Portia J. Sugay – Acting VP, Quality Assurance Group; Carlos Da Silva – Exec. Dir., Assoc. of Health Maintenance Organizations of the Phils., Inc.; Dr. Leopoldo Vega - Medical Chief, Southern Philippines Medical Center; Gerard Servais – Sr. Health Specialist, Asian Development Bank; and Dr. Normando Legaspi - Provincial Health Officer, Oriental Mindoro

PhilHealth also invited two distinguished guests both tagged as UHC champions. One of them is Congresswoman Dr. Angelina DL. Tan, Chairperson of the House Committee on Health who firmly believes "that there is a lot of work to be done but if we do it all together, we can hit our targets. Moving forward tungo sa kalusugan ng bayan para sa kalusugang pangkalahatan," Tan said.

On the other hand, Senator Joseph Victor "JV" G. Ejercito lauded this landmark legislation as he deeply expressed his gratitude to the people involved who painstakingly worked day and night in the crafting of the UHC law. "I know this is another milestone that history itself cannot erase. Once implemented, the UHC legacy will be forever in the hearts of the Filipino people. Thank you all for the support! Mabuhay ang PhilHealth!" Ejercito declared in his keynote speech.

Also part of the program is the awarding ceremony for outgoing PhilHealth Board Members followed by presentations from Dr. Peter Cowley, Acting Director for World Health Organization, Mario Villaverde, Undersecretary of the Department of Health, and Ruben John A. Basa, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer as resource persons.

Various viewpoints were raised by different experts and stakeholders during the open forum which will serve as inputs in the crafting of UHC's implementing rules and regulations.

On its last day, three parallel presentations were held concerning Sustainable Financing for Health; Improving Financial Risk Protection; and Strategic Purchasing of Health Services, after which a plenary session synthesizing the collective agenda for action closed the two-day programme. (END)

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PhilHealth holds Health Care Financing Summit