PhilHealth partners with senior citizens commission to boost Universal Health Care Act

PhilHealth partners with senior 
citizens commission to boost 
Universal Health Care Act
Photo by Allyssa Kaye Casas, AdDU Intern

The National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) Cluster 8 and PhilHealth-Davao Region signed a ceremonial Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) during the Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday morning, July 1, 2024 at SM Ecoland, Davao City to strengthen the implementation of Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act.

Khlea Gayle Guevara, Public Relations Officer of PhilHealth-Davao, said that the purpose of their partnership is also to improve data collection for their databases. 

According to Ida Yap-Patron, NCSC commissioner, the number of registered senior citizens for NCSC was only half of the population registered to PhilHealth. 

Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act ensures that every Filipino has fair access to reasonably priced, high-quality health care products and services as well as financial risk protection. 

Currently, NCSC has about 205,324 registered senior citizens in Davao Region while PhilHealth has around 539,352. 

“We encourage them to already register with PhilHealth para the time na manginahanglan sila [when they are in need], they can immediately avail of the benefits,” Filbert Ryan Sollesta, Field Operations Division Chief of PhilHealth-Davao, said. 

Atty. Harvey Carcedo, Regional Vice-President of PhilHealth-Davao Region, said their coverage benefit in their KonSulTa Program increases from P500 to P1,700 for all members of PhilHealth.

“Before the formal signing of this partnership, there was already an implementation of the increase. We are just strengthening it right now so it can go directly to our senior citizens,” Carcedo said.

He clarified that the program differs from the usual claims from the agency, focusing on the annual medical checkup. He emphasized that, despite the immediate eligibility of senior citizens, it is still important to register their information in their database.

Sollesta expressed that the agency has been urging their program partners to extend their services in far-flung areas for easier access, although in-patients should be directed to the hospital.

Other than the KonSulTa program, the agencies involved are also pushing for age-friendly cities and communities in the Philippines. They have conducted training for their senior citizen leaders as well as information officers for awareness, hoping to bridge the information gap between the elderly and the agencies. Allyssa Kaye Casas, AdDU Intern

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