Today, global experiences in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as well as the Philippines’ own journey to UHC will be highlighted in a Symposium at the EDSA Shangrila Hotel in Mandaluyong City, organized by Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
The PhilHealth Symposium, which is being supported by the European Union (EU), will have for its theme: ‘Bawa’t Filipino, Protektado.’ It will bring together international and local experts in health care financing, economic and social analysts, hospital administrators, members of the academe and Health Department officials to discuss best practices in social health insurance program administration.
Gracing the event are Health Secretary and PhilHealth Chairperson Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial, PhilHealth Acting President and CEO Ramon F. Aristoza, Jr., PhilHealth OIC-Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Johnny Y. Sychua and Louis Dey, Acting Head of the Development Cooperation of the EU.
Dr. Konrad Obermann, Senior Lecturer of the MIPH Mannheim Institute of Public Health (Heidelberg University) will provide an international perspective on how UHC is achieved, while Ruben John A. Basa, PhilHealth Senior Vice President for Health Finance Policy Sector, will talk on the Philippines’ own journey to UHC.
Session 1 of the whole-day Symposium will focus on the continuum of health care services and delivery networks within the perspective of what services should be covered. Health Policy Specialist Dr. Maria Ofelia O. Alcantara will discuss the Life Stage Approach featured in the Philippine Health Agenda for 2016-2022 while Dr. Enrique Tayag, Director IV of the Bureau of Local Health Systems Development will discuss the inter-relatedness of service delivery networks. Dr. John Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Epimetrics, Inc. will tackle the benefit prioritization process, while Dr. Anthony Leachon, PhilHealth Board Member, will discuss prioritizing coverage for services addressing the top 80 percent burden of disease.
Session 2 will focus on how financial risk protection can best cushion the impact of health care costs. Invited to talk on the latest National Health Accounts is Raquel Dolores Sabenano, Senior Statistical Specialist of the Philippine Statistics Authority. To provide insights on how the No Balance Billing (NBB) policy has impacted on hospital operations, Dr. Elenila Jakosalem, Chief of Bislig District Hospital and Dr. Soraya Pesy Abubakar, Chief of Medical and Professional Staff of Zamboanga City Medical Center will provide perspectives on the policy’s implementation as administrators of a Local Government Unit (LGU) and DOH-retained facility, respectively.
Session 3 aims to highlight efforts to ensure that policies and programs relating to UHC are inclusive. Leading the line-up of speakers are Toomas Palu, Global Practice Manager of The World Bank. He will give an overview of the status of implementation of Republic Act 10351 or the Sin Tax Reform Act of 2012. Krupska Lenina Apit, Project Coordinator for National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction of the Department of Social Welfare and Development will present how the less privileged members of society are targeted. Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon, Principal Health Specialist for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department of the Asian Development Bank will discuss sustainability mechanisms, focusing on potentials in the informal economy and other sources of funding for social health insurance.
Expected to attend the Symposium are PhilHealth’s development partners, and representatives from the DoH, local government units, academe, and other stakeholders. It is among the activities lined up in observance of PhilHealth’s 22nd Anniversary this month. (END)