TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – “PhilHealth is only a part of the solution, the main solution should come from the Government” said retired PBGEN Ricardo Morales, now President and Chief Executive Officer of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in a press conference during the first PhilHealth Expo on September 10 at Robinson’s Mall Tuguegarao.
Amid issues against the health insurance corporation where multiple graft cases were filed against certain officials, President Morales assured everyone that the Universal Health Care Law (UHCL) will roll out on time after its Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR), which will provide details on how the UHCL will be implemented, has been completed.
The UHCL, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last February 20 was designed to ensure quality health care to all Filipino citizens, together with PhilHealth as the ‘national purchaser’ of health goods and services.
With more fund coming from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Premium Contributions, PhilHealth will be providing payment to health care providers in hospitals and clinics for their services to Filipino citizens.
According to the law, all Filipinos will now be enrolled in a primary health care service provider, who will be in charge of referring the patient to secondary and tertiary health care service provider if needed.
The IRR was supposed to be finished 180 days after President Duterte signed it, but it hasn’t been completed yet, and Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque confessed that the national implementation of the law can’t be done by 2020 due to lack of funding.
The PhilHealth CEO explained that the implementation of the law will be done in different phases and stages and called it a ‘progressive implementation’.
“It has always been a gradual roll-out, walang health care service sa mundo na pagka-open mo ng kurtina, kumpleto na” (It has always been a gradual roll-out, there’s no health care service in the world that provides everything in the world that provides everything in a snap), he said.
Three pilot sites in Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya are currently implementing the law in the Region, which were qualified by their readiness and willingness according to Oscar Abadu Jr., Vice President of Quality Assurance Group – PhilHealth.