Bacolod City commits to create special health fund

PARTNERSHIP. Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (center) signs a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the local health system integration under the Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act of 2019 in rites held at the Government Center main lobby on Monday, Dec. 4. Other signatories were Dr. Mary Pauline Gestosani (left), chief of DOH-6 Regulations, Licensing, and Enforcement Division, representing Regional Director Adriano Suba-an, and Edgar Yocariza, head of PhilHealth-Bacolod, on behalf of PhilHealth-Western Visayas vice president Janet Monteverde.
PARTNERSHIP. Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (center) signs a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the local health system integration under the Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act of 2019 in rites held at the Government Center main lobby on Monday, Dec. 4. Other signatories were Dr. Mary Pauline Gestosani (left), chief of DOH-6 Regulations, Licensing, and Enforcement Division, representing Regional Director Adriano Suba-an, and Edgar Yocariza, head of PhilHealth-Bacolod, on behalf of PhilHealth-Western Visayas vice president Janet Monteverde. Bacolod PIO photo

The Bacolod City government will create a special health fund (SHF) as part of its commitment to the implementation of the city-wide health system (CWHS) integration under the Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act of 2019.

On Monday, Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez signed a memorandum of understanding with officials of the Department of Health (DOH) and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) in Western Visayas (Region 6) to realize the establishment of the CWHS to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of population- and individual-based health services.

“We signed an MOU creating the SHF designed to augment the resources of the local government in meeting the programs of the DOH and the PhilHealth. I can assure you that our community will truly feel the impact of the program we are bringing to them,” the mayor said in a press briefing.

Dr. Mary Pauline Gestosani, chief of DOH-6 Regulations, Licensing, and Enforcement Division, represented Regional Director Adriano Suba-an and Edgar Yocariza, head of PhilHealth-Bacolod, signed on behalf of PhilHealth-Western Visayas vice president Janet Monteverde.

The SHF, a financial integration mechanism from the UHC law, aims to consolidate funding pools in a local government.

It will serve as a funding pool for the integrated local health system for personnel, commodities, capital, facilities, and other expenses.

Local government units that commit to establishing a CWHS have a six-year transition period from the enactment of the UHC Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

The first three years target management and technical integration, followed by financial integration in the next three years.

Under the MOU, the DOH-6 will provide or facilitate the necessary support and incentives based on the baseline assessment and situational analysis and assist the city government in integrating its local health system into a CWHS.

“The assistance shall include financial and non-financial matching grants to strengthen health systems and health service delivery subject to the guidelines of the provision of such grants,” the MOU stated.

PhilHealth will provide adequate financing to enable the city government to extend individual-based interventions to its catchment population and sufficient financial incentives to support the city government in adopting necessary health reforms such as primary care services and the gatekeeping and formation of health care provider networks. (PNA)

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