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Health coverage for migrants of ASEAN Member States January 16, 2019

In his message, PhilHealth Acting President and CEO Dr. Roy B. Ferrer said that the conduct of the workshop is timely, especially at this point in time where various reforms toward universal health care are being undertaken in most AMS. "Truly there can be no universal health care if the health of migrants is left behind" Ferrer asserted.

Some of the challenges identified during the workshop are the lack of robust database system for monitoring for valid insurance coverage, accessibility to health services, fraud, physical and mental abuses, life-threatening drugs, unhealthy/unsafe working conditions, limited health insurance coverage, No Balance Billing by reimbursement basis, and difficulty to ascertain work-related injuries required for claims.

The workshop arrived at recommendations which include a practical platform for consulting, negotiating, and handling health issues, reporting of focal point on the implementation progress of the ASEAN Consensus, inclusion of migrant workers in the SHI scheme of the receiving countries, portable SHI in the region, access to emergency services regardless of status, harness ASEAN's open dialogue approach, ensure accountability in the implementation of resulting guidelines, UHC and migrant health as part of the social protection agenda, and that all sending countries need to ensure that their citizens are provided with health insurance during their stay in the receiving country.

Ferrer encouraged everyone to continue to work towards the realization of a common vision where all ASEAN people as well as the migrants remain healthy. (END) (Faudia H. Subillaga)

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Health coverage for migrants of ASEAN Member States