Good governance, innovation key  to better, effective health programs
(From) left Acting Olongapo Mayor Sarah Lugerna Garcia, Mayor Herminigildo Velasco of San Gabriel La Union, Mayor Jocell Casaje of Plaridel, Bulacan, Jessica Robredo of Jesse M. Robredo Foundation, Dr. Beaver Tamesis, president of MSD in the Philippines, and Harvey Keh of Kaya Natin Movement launching the 2019 Champions for Health Governance Awards to top performing LGUs with excellent health programs.

Good governance, innovation key to better, effective health programs

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - November 19, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Global pharmaceutical company Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has partnered anew with the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance & Ethical Leadership and the non-profit organization Jesse M. Robredo Foundation for an initiative that seeks to recognize champions in health governance. 

The so-called 2019 Champions for Health Governance  (CHG) Awards commends top performing local government units with innovative healthcare programs. 

This is in accordance with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on health and the Department of Health framework to achieve universal health care for all Filipinos. 

The partnership is also in line with MSD’s comprehensive vision to improve access to innovative therapies through programs and partnerships with a mission to provide healthcare solutions to people who need it the most. 

Anchored on its commitment to improve heath and well-being around the world, MSD develops research-based medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases, cardio-metabolic ailments and antibiotic resistant infection as well as emerging global pandemics. 

“We, at the private sector, aims to be a partner of choice of all our stakeholders. Aligned to our vision to continuously invent for life, we share the responsibility of improving the health and access to quality healthcare among Filipino people. One way of realising that goal is through meaningful collaborations with key government units,” Beaver Tamesis, president of MSD in the Philippines said. 

The CHG awards  is a biennial citation first launched in 2013 and is now on its fourth run. 

It seeks to recognize LGUs that have successful health initiatives. 

Entries will be evaluated based on local leadership, transparency and accountability, effectiveness, innovativeness, health resources management and community engagement in health. They will also be assessed based on their contribution to achieving universal health coverage. 

The top five winning LGUs from the city or municipal level will receive a cash grant worth P100,000 to fund their best health programs and continue their outstanding initiatives in health.

During a recent press briefing to launch the 2019 awards, Tamesis said it is important for people to listen and to look at their practices and that health should be a priority. 

“We are optimistic it will inspire more cities to be one with the country’s aspirations to transform the country’s health sector,” Tamesis said. 

During the launch, Jessica Maria Robredo, chairman of the Jesse Robredo Foundation said that her father Jesse had always believed in the power of the local government. 

 “CHG seeks to challenge our local leaders to generate innovative ways to solve their localities’ health problems despite the odds,” she said. 

Kaya Natin! Champion and acting Olongapo City Mayor Sara Garcia said the success of the Universal Healthcare Program relies heavily on government and hospital participation in city and municipal levels. 

 “The vision of a healthy Filipino community will be attained when the public and private sector spark a partnership to genuinely serve available, accessible, affordable and quality health care programs to all Filipinos,” Garcia said 

Indeed, the first step to expanding health care coverage in the Philippines is through stronger connections among communities and empowering LGUs.

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