Gov. appeals to Philhealth to strengthen health insurance

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gov. appeals to Philhealth to strengthen health insurance

PASIG CITY, April 14 Ė Governor Rodolfo P. del Rosario and the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) National president, Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr. (Mindoro Oriental) appeal to Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) to strengthen the LGUsí stake in the Philhealth Program. The PHIC Board headed by DILG Usec. Austere A. Panadero welcomed the LPP contingent in its board meeting at City State Center in Shaw Boulevard last April 6.

The appeal came on the heels of using the DSWD-sponsored National Housing Targeting System (NHTS) over the LGU-sponsored Community-based Monitoring System (CBMS) in identifying the poorest of the poor as beneficiaries of the Brazilian-style conditional cash transfer (CCT). Speaking on behalf of the LPP, Gov. Umali laments the huge discrepancy observed between the number and identities contained in the two listings.

Under the CCT program, the lowest quintile of the population which is roughly 5 million is directly enrolled by the DSWD to Philhealth. This assistance supposedly removes the said beneficiaries from the CBMS list of the LGUs to avoid double enrollments.

Gov. del Rosario expressed support to CCT since it provides LGUs some leeway in enrolling more and more people to the program.

"This direct counterpart of the DWSD towards Universal Coverage is a big push to LGUsí capacity to cover those households in the relatively higher income bracket. But initially, what we need to do now is to sanitize the NHTS and figure out how we can reconcile it with CBMS," Gov. del Rosario said.

Currently, the provincial government of Davao del Norte has already enrolled a total of 72, 248 Philhealth beneficiaries with investment amounting to P20 million from only P3 million in 2008.

This stride in local Philhealth implementation is in line with the governorís quest for improving the rural health units of the LGUs, and the three district hospitals of the provincial government. Seeing the market potential of public health with health insurance as buy-ins, the governor is also bent on creating an Economic Enterprises Office, with the three district hospitals as prime income generators through Philhealth.

Among other concerns, the LPP contingent also raised the proposed sharing scheme, the inflow channels of capitation funds, and the possible representation of the LGUs through various Leagues in the PHIC Board. (RT-PIA 11 DavNor) - - Austere Panadero

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