DOH STRENGTHENS UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE AT COMMUNITY LEVEL
The Department of Health (DOH), together with the European Union to the Philippines (EU), today spearheads a National Health Summit with the theme “Universal Health Care: Making Local Health Service Delivery Work.” This summit aims to capture, share, and scale-up local health practices and interventions proven effective in increasing access to quality mother and child health care newborn services.
Kalusugang Pangkalahatan or Universal Health Care is the current thrust of the Aquino administration in order to bridge the gap and reduce barriers to health care, reduce social exclusion and work towards universal coverage of delivering health services to Filipinos.
In order to attain these goals, DOH launched the High-Impact Five (Hi-5) last May 2015, which focuses on Maternal Health Care, Infant Care, Child Care, HIV/AIDS, and Service Delivery Network. This strategy aims to produce the greatest improvement in health outcomes especially in 43 priority provinces.
“With all these strategies laid out for the different priority programs, we just have to improve our coordination, eliminate duplication of activities and enhance complementation of assistance in order to guarantee our success. Mararamdaman, mararanasan, at makakarating sa lahat ang Kalusugan Pangkalahatan.” Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin said.
A symbolic Pledge of Commitment was made by representatives from the executive and legislative branches of the government, local government units, government agencies, non-government organizations and developmental partners present in the summit to signify their commitment and support to Universal Health Care.
Moreover, cabinet secretaries of Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and other government agencies signed a manifesto to support the 43 priority provinces & 64 Accelerated and Sustainable Anti-Poverty Program (ASAPP) and Whole of Nation Initiative (WNI) municipalities; and Memorandum of Understanding for School-Based Immunization. Also, a model of School-Based Health Station and Dental Health Bus was unveiled during the summit.
European Union to the Philippines Ambassador Guy Ledoux said that in the past 10 years, health was one of the priority areas for the EU’s development cooperation program. A total of Php 6.85 billion was directed to the National Treasury as a strong commitment in support of Universal Health Care in the Philippines.
The European Union and the Philippines signed the “Philippines Health Sector Reform Contract” (PHSRC) last July 2004. This was the third EU funded program to support the Philippine Health Sector Reform Agenda. Under this agreement, EU provides a Php 1.8 billion grant that supports health initiatives of the Philippine Government.
“We truly appreciate the assistance of the European Union (EU) in helping the DOH achieve this endeavor. The success of Kalusugan Pangkalahatan relies heavily not only with DOH but more importantly on the support and actions of the attached government agencies, non-government organizations, developmental partners and the local government units.” Garin concluded.