Philhealth launches public-private parternships for Kalusugan Pangkalahatan

A September 5, 2011 press release from the Department of Health

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) today launched its public-private partnership (PPP) schemes with some of the biggest names in the businesses sector in support of the Department of Health’s agenda of Kalusugan Pangkalahatan or Universal Health Care. Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona, who also serves as the Chairman of the Board of PhilHealth, was on hand to formalize the partnership with the different companies.

Kalusugan Pangkalahatan is the health reform agenda of the Department of Health. Its main aim is to provide financial risk protection for all Filipinos, especially the poor, by ensuring universal PhilHealth coverage and improving the benefits of PhilHealth. The PPP initiatives are designed to help PhilHealth encourage more and more people to become part of PhilHealth and to assist PhilHealth in improving its services for its members. All of these will be at no cost to the Corporation.

“The National Health Insurance Law mandates that each and everyone—rich or poor, must be members of PhilHealth. That’s why we are hell bent in achieving universal coverage in 3 years” declared the health chief.

The implementation of this endeavor shall be phased, starting from Metro Manila on September 12, then in Luzon on September 19, Visayas on September 26, and Mindanao on October 3. The SM chain of malls and CIS Bayad Centers will provide more than 1,300 registration sites for those who wish to be PhilHealth members. Also, Globe and Smart telecommunications will provide marketing support to inform the public about PhilHealth offerings and benefits. In cooperation with e-soluzione and 1abx, the telecom giants will allow users to transact with PhilHealth through their mobile phones.

“We want to encourage all Filipinos, especially the informal sector, to enroll in PhilHealth” said COO/EVP Alexander A. Padilla, who started this initiative.

Through this PPP initiative, all PhilHealth members will now be entitled to discounts for medicines and other health services. Watson’s Pharmacy will give discounts for medicine and cosmetic product purchases while Rose Pharmacy and SouthStar Drug will have discounts for its unbranded generic drugs. Qualifirst, a subsidiary of United Lab, will also give 50- to 60-percent discounts for its generic medicines. Likewise, Glaxo-Smith Kleine (GSK) will offer a substantial discount for their flu vaccines, while PQ Health Shield will provide a 20-percent discount on all vaccines given in their outlets. Other discounts will be given by Fresenius Medical Care for its hemodialysis services and Vivian Sarabia Opticals who will offer free eye examination and a 20-percent discount on frames and lenses.

ALL CARDS has committed to assist PhilHealth in providing the new and better quality PhilHealth ID card, which will be made of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and shall have a magnetic stripe. Finally, UNILAB will be shouldering the card cost of senior citizens.

“The support of the private sector is critical in our pursuit of our objectives. Government cannot do it alone, we need the support of all our partners” concluded Secretary Ona as he called on more private sector support for the thrust of Kalusugan Pangkalahatan.