DILG, DOH, LGUs to implement Universal Health Care program

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Health (DOH) in collaboration with local government units will jointly implement the Aquino administration’s Universal Health Care or “Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” (UHC KP) program, aimed at improving the quality of health care services in the country.

This development came following the issuance by Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo and DOH Secretary Enrique T. Ona of a Joint Memorandum Circular, prescribing the policies and guidelines for the UHC KP’s implementation, to all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors.

The issuance was one of the highlights of the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Local Government Code held last October 10, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Robredo said the circular will institutionalize responsibilities of the DOH, DILG and LGUs in carrying out the objectives of the UHC KP towards attaining the goals of the health reform program.

The UHC KP seeks to improve, streamline, and scale up the strategies in health sector reform agenda in order to address inequities in health outcomes by ensuring that all Filipinos, especially the poor, have access to quality health care.

Robredo explained that the success of the program lies in the active participation of the local government chief executives who are tasked to promote the UHC KP at the local level.

“I urged, therefore, our local chief executives to closely coordinate with the DILG and DOH and participate in activities relative to UHC KP,” the DILG secretary asked the local officials.

Under the guidelines, the local chief executives shall organize technical working groups to oversee the implementation of UHC KP, as well as provide the enabling environment for health sector reforms, namely legal framework, budget and logistical support.

On the other hand, the DOH shall strengthen the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP), as the prime mover in generating resources to modernize and sustain health facilities, while the DILG shall take the responsibility in enjoining the development community to support the UHC KP.

The guidelines also provided three strategic thrusts that the UHC KP shall pursue, namely, financial risk protection through expansion of NHIP enrollment and benefit delivery; improved access to quality hospitals and health care facilities; and attainment of the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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