DOH to launch Universal Health Care implementation in Cebu on January 9
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) will officially launch the pilot implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law in Cebu next Thursday, January 9, 2020.
Dr. Sheila Faciol, Public Health Operations Division chief of the Provincial Health Office, said the launching would serve as the orientation for local chief executives, health professionals groups, and concerned nongovernment organizations on how the UHC will be implemented.
Representatives from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will lay down the guidelines on how medical services will be made available for free under the UHC policy.
Faciol said the province and the health department already signed a memorandum of understanding in Manila last December 17, 2019, for the implementation of the health care law.
Provincial Board Member (Cebu, 4th) and Committee on Health and Social Services Chair Kerrie Keane Shimura and Faciol signed the MOU for the province.
In earlier interviews, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said PhilHealth will be downloading to the province initial funding for the implementation of UHC within the first quarter of the year.
Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre, in his statement of funding sources for the Capitol’s P12 billion budget for 2020, estimated at least P4.2 billion of funds from PhilHealth to be downloaded to the province for 2020.
The funds from PhilHealth will be used for the installation of equipment and facilities needed in the four provincial and 12 district hospitals in the province.
Among the immediate upgrades in the government hospitals, Faciol said, is the accreditation of the district hospitals in Bantayan and Camotes Islands into level 1 hospital.
“As a district hospital, they operate only as an infirmary. Limited sa ubo, sip-on, hilanat ug normal delivery (Their services are limited to only cater to cough, colds, fever, and normal delivery.),” Faciol said.
When the hospitals will be upgraded to a level 1, Faciol said they will be able to handle minor surgeries and transfuse blood.
In September 2019, Garcia announced that the capacity of the hospitals will be increased to 100 beds from currently at 25 beds each.
Aside from the funds for the upgrade of hospitals, PhilHealth will also pay the province for the hospital services availed by their paying and non-paying members./dbs
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