By Lyka Manalo
MALVAR, Batangas—The Universal Health Care Act offers a chance to change the country’s health system, Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) said.
Speaking to health officers of Batangas and Quezon provinces, Dr. Eduardo Janairo said while the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of UHC is being formulated, it is timely to improve health services.
“This is the opportunity, pagkakataon na ito para baguhin halos lahat. We still do not have the right system that we need especially for people in the far flung areas” Janairo said in his speech.
He said Philhealth has to change its rules because it is part of the government and not a private institution.
“The only thing that will change Philhealth is to remove everybody working in Philhealth and change them into a different persona, Kung di mo gagawin yun nothing will change,” he said.
“Masyado sila nakafocus dun sa reserves, sa kikitain, di sila nakafocus dun sa tutulungan and that is not universal health care” Janairo said.
DOH Calabarzon called a province-wide Universal Health Care (UHC) Task Force meeting with the local government health officers and private health institutions of Batangas and Quezon provinces at Lima Park Hotel here.
The two-day meeting which ended Wednesday was in preparation for the implementation of the UHC whose IRR is expected to be released before the year ends.
Janairo said the orientation which will be held in different provinces in the region will identify the problems and gaps that need to be filled so that an accessible and systematic health care services can reach the remotest areas.
“Marami pa rin sa Batangas ang kulang sa barangay health stations, wala man lang midwife ang barangay, kailangang punuan natin through tactical plan para maserbisyuhan ang mga tao” Janairo said in an interview.
With the population of 2.8 million, Batangas has 18 government health facilities with 1,293 health personnel, 51 rural health units and 61 private hospitals and primary care facilities.
The provincial government has allotted more than P899 million for health programs this year.