By Analou De Vera
The implementing rules and regulations of the Universal Health Care (UHC) law is expected to be released by the end of this month or early October, the Department of Health (DOH) said Sunday.
Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo said that they are now in the “final stage” of drafting the IRR of the UHC law.
“Nasa final stage na tayo. Nagkaroon kami ng final meeting with PhilHealth last week and magkakaroon na ng consolidation for the next two weeks. So, we hope either last week of September or early October lalabas na yung implementing rules ng ating Universal Health Care,” said Domingo during the sidelines of the “Walk the Talk Manila: The Health for All Challenge” fun run event in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
[We are now on the final stage. We had a final meeting with PhilHealth last week and there will be a consolidation for the next two weeks. So, we hope either last week of September or early October, the implementing rules for Universal Health Care will be out.]
Domingo, meanwhile, said that one provision of UHC law, which requires the integration of local health systems to province-wide and city-wide health systems, will be optional. The said provision is being opposed by some local officials.
“Yung integration naman hindi naman to compulsory. Optional naman sya. But of course we really enjoin all local government units to join. Ang ginagawa natin, unti-unti natin inieexplain sa kanila kung ano yung Universal Health Care and what will be the advantages of integrating their system,” he said.
[The integration will not be compulsory. It is optional. But of course we really enjoin all local government units to join. What we are doing right now is we explain to them the Universal Health Care and what will be the advantages of integrating their system.]
“We hope that all of these efforts, we convince everybody to join. If you look at the law, it really enjoins everybody, endeavors, and encourage everybody to join and integrate their health system. So, wala naman sapilitan dito,” he added.
To note, based on Chapter 5, Section 19 of the UHC law, “the Provincial and City Health Boards shall oversee and coordinate the integration of health services for province-wide and city-wide health systems, to be composed of municipal and component city health systems, and city-wide health systems in highly urbanized and independent component cities, respectively.”
The provincial and city health boards will manage the “special health fund and shall exercise administrative and technical supervision over health facilities and health human resources within their jurisdictions,” it added.
Meanwhile, World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe expressed support for the implementation of UHC law in the country.
“The WHO stands with the Filipino people to move its health for all agenda and promote health,” Abeyasinghe told the crowd who participated in the ‘Walk the Talk’ fun run event.