Forum aims to strengthen partnerships for Phl healthcare
(The Philippine Star) - July 10, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - For the third consecutive year, Novartis Healthcare Philippines partnered with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) to gather government and private sector stakeholders and align their priorities in order to strengthen the Philippine healthcare system.

Held at the St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City recently, the Future Health Trends Forum III generated several key learnings.

Instead of looking at ASEAN Harmonization by 2015 as the final endpoint, stakeholders should consider it as a call for acceleration and competitiveness. The game plan for the ASEAN Economic Community focuses on compliance, competitiveness, communications and collaboration. 

The challenges to ASEAN pharmaceutical harmonization can be attributed to the wide disparities in laws and regulations among ASEAN countries. 

The healthcare sector is expected to grow, but this growth requires continued innovation in service delivery, particularly differentiated integrated service delivery.

Business conglomerates that are venturing into the healthcare sector are contributing to modernization, which addresses the infrastructure gap. Public-private partnerships are helping modernize cancer and heart centers, PET scan, and cyclotron facility.

Universal healthcare (UHC) provides several opportunities such as increased financing for healthcare through increased budget allocation, including sin tax revenues; increased private spending through premiums; use of demand side approach through health insurance; supply side improvements ensured through the Health Facility Enhancement Program; and development of local government hospitals, and fiscal autonomy that enables income retention. 

There has been an increase in the coverage of the National Health Insurance Program from 50 percent in 2010 to 82 percent in 2014. Moreover, policies to ensure higher financial risk protection has been integrated in the National Health Insurance Act of 2013 and its implementing rules and regulations. 

The dramatic increase in health sector allocation from P13.9 billion in 2005 to P85 billion in 2014 shows the government is willing to spend for health. The sin tax revenues, which form a huge chunk of the funding, have been earmarked by the national government for the coverage of the poor in the National Health Insurance Program.

This shows that there is a sustained political commitment to finance UHC. However, the challenge for the government is to implement UHC initiatives in a timely manner.

“With our country transitioning to UHC and ASEAN harmonization taking effect next year, key public and private sector stakeholders need to consolidate their efforts in order to ensure a more effective and sustainable Philippine healthcare system,” said SLMC president and CEO Dr. Edgardo Cortez.

“Through multi-stakeholder engagements such as the Future Health Trends Forum, we are able to seek expert inputs and best practices that can help us enhance the country’s healthcare system,” said AIM Dean Ricardo Lim.

“The forum revealed that designing sustainable health systems requires continued innovation in three areas: financing models, access to healthcare and use of technology,” said Christine Fajardo, corporate affairs and market access head of Novartis Healthcare Philippines.

The forum’s keynote speaker was Health Undersecretary Dr. Teodora Herbosa, who talked about “Innovation in Access to Health Care: The Social Contract through Universal Health Care.”

ASIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT CHRISTINE FAJARDO DEAN RICARDO LIM DR. EDGARDO CORTEZ FUTURE HEALTH TRENDS FORUM HEALTH HEALTHCARE NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM NOVARTIS HEALTHCARE PHILIPPINES ST. LUKE
  • Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with