SINCE 2007, the nation has been observing National Health Insurance Program Month every February. Thanks to Presidential Proclamation No. 1400, s.2007, the value of social health insurance to every Filipino family has been highlighted and reinforced at the start of each year. This time, the celebration of NHIP Month coincides with the 20th Anniversary of the government corporation primarily tasked to administer the country’s social health insurance program – the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). The agency has opted to devote the entire 2015 to salute two decades of public service through low-key but high-impact events that are designed to make the celebration more meaningful.
The celebration started with a two-day Conference on the NHIP entitled ‘PhilHealth@20: 4 Tracks, 1 Goal Towards Universal Health Care.’ The event, which was held at the Century Park Hotel, drew UHC advocates together, including PhilHealth’s stakeholders from the academe, the health care provider sector, the local government, and its development partners. The Conference was a stock-taking exercise which was also aimed at generating insights from stakeholders on how best to approach health care financing through SHI to enable the NHIP to contribute significantly to the attainment of UHC.
In her address, Acting Health Secretary Janette Loreto-Garin cited the important role that PhilHealth plays in helping finance health care services in the country. Being a former legislator, she expounded on the long journey that the then PhilHealth bill went through, and the many other challenges that went with pushing legislation that will impact heavily on the Filipinos’ lives. She challenged PhilHealth to be more, to increase public awareness of the programs and services that it offers, to ensure an updated, reliable database, and to encourage utilization in times of need.
PhilHealth President and CEO Alexander A. Padilla cited major strides made by the government corporation over the last 20 years, especially in the areas of membership management, benefits development, provider engagement and provider payment.
Last February 12, an anniversary program was held in Mandaluyong City which featured signing ceremonies with two (2) government institutions to strengthen public information and assistance, unveiling of commemorative stamp and medal, launching of a benefit package for the less privileged sector of society, and a press conference.
Sunday, February 15, the second nationwide, simultaneous Run kicked off in 13 sites all over the country, while massive tree-planting and growing activities will continue in various parts of the country. The Run brought together at least 48,000 runners all over the country.
The third and fourth weeks of February are devoted to employee-centred activities aimed at enhancing teamwork and cooperation, as well as honouring the agency’s outstanding employees.
Other activities that will be undertaken in the Regional Offices within the NHIP Month include health and wellness fairs, unveiling of marker for a PhilHealth protected community, info-education campaigns, awarding rites for outstanding partners and media initiatives. # (Moppet B. Varlez) Adapted News, PHILHEALTH