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#HealthAlert: Wealth for Health Summit Live Blog

Wealth for Health is an annual, one-day forum on critical healthcare financing issues as well as the many aspects of universal health care

  • Wealth for health summit now starting
  • Health Secretary Enrique Ona delivers message.

  • Ona stresses the importance of public-private partnerships in health
  • Background: universal health care is one of President Aquino's key campaign promises
  • Ona lists down accomplishments in health. "We cut claims processing from 60 days and beyond to 45 days"
  • Ona: target is that by 2016, all Filipinos, especially those who are very poor, will be enrolled in Philhealth.
  • Ona stressed that government can't accomplish this goal alone. Stressed importance of collaboration with private sector
  • Dr. Eduardo Banzon of Philhealth now speaking

  • Banzon is discussing how health can be financed
  • Banzon shows the Philhealth corporate dashboard.

  • Banzon's report says 85% of total population now covered by Philhealth. This is an estimate based on those enrolled and estimated number of dependents
  • Banzon: problem is people who are enrolled do not know they are enrolled.
  • Banzon: good news: we are now hitting half a million claims per month
  • Banzon: best practice is national government provides financing, LGUs, the services.
  • Background: Health services have been devolved to LGUs under the Local Government Code.
  • Banzon discusses problems in determining utilization rates
  • Banzon: need to push up utililization rates particularly for sponsored program.
  • Banzon shows everyone new machine readable Philhealth cards which he said will hopefully increase utilization because it eliminates use of forms which are not friendly to the poor. "We don't know if they can fill out forms or even read"
  • Banzon talks about the new Philhealth customer assistance service

  • Banzon on: "Philhealth Moves", essentially Philhealth desks on wheels going to poor areas.

  • Banzon: up next, Philhealth in malls
  • Malls have become the parks, the plazas in this country, so Philhealth will be there," - Banzo
  • Banzon on increasing premiums: it's necessary to decrease out of pocket payments for health services. You should be angry that we are only doubling out of pocket
  • Banzon: a 1% decrease in out of pocket rates amounts to about 3 to 4 billion pesos.
  • Banzon concludes his speech
  • Banzon shows off a sample of new machine-readable Philhealth card

  • A closer look at the new card

  • Darwin Mariano of Sanofi, one of the event organizers, discusses need for networking among stakeholders in health

  • Dr. Israel Pargas of Philhealth

  • Dr Larry Cedro, Charity clinic and fund allocation manager at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office

  • Background: PCSO Charity funds are often tapped in cases of catastrophic illness among the poor.
  • Dr. Cedro: PCSO is trying to complement Philhealth efforts
  • Dr. Cedro: to maximize resources, we want to tap into Philhealth member data program.
  • Dr. Cedro: we are currently spending almost P12m per day for hospitalization, we anticipate that the need will increase
  • Dr. Cedro: PCSO is here to augment, not to address entire need. Will have to set limits to how much can be given to an individual
  • Dr. Cedro: PCSO supports organ transplants for Philhealth members, wants to encourage people to enrol to Philhealth
  • Dr. Cedro: PCSO also intends to enter into agreements with pharmaceutical companies to help lower cost of medicines
  • Dr. Cedro: wants Philhealth members to maximize availment rates before PCSO comes in.
  • Dr. Cedro: PCSO does not prequalify clients. But you have to be in a charity ward, not private. Also have to be in accredited hospitals.
  • Dr. Cedro discusses requirements to avail of PCSO medical assistance program. "We are trying to decentralize, people won't get bigger assistance if they go to Manila." He notes additional expenses incurred if a patient is brought to Manila

  • Dr. Cedro: PCSO is also coordinating with the NDRRMC to reach out to and help qualified individuals who were affected by typhoons
  • Dr. Brillo Leynes of the Development Bank of the Philippines is now discussing its sustainable health care investment program

  • DBP's loan program for investments in health. The program is open to LGUs and the private sector

  • Project eligibility requirements to avail of DBP's health investments loan program

  • Reynes: 20 private hospitals have applied for loans under the program this year. They had to open the program to the private sector because local governments hesitate to borrow for they tend to expect grant support.
  • Dr. Julius Lecciones of the Philippine Children's Medical Center. He discusses childhood cancer, particularly leukemia

  • Dr Lecciones: if detected early, childhood cancer is curable. Main barriers to early detection is access, economic factors
  • Dr. Lecciones: PCMC is working with a number of public and private hospitals to promote awareness, early detection
  • Q for DBP: is the bank receptive to funding startups?
  • Leynes of DBP: Loan program is not yet for startups. Need to go through incubation period first.
  • Dr. Pargas: Philhealth cannot directly provide funds to facilities. For accredited providers, Philhealth provides global, front loaded payments.
  • Mariano: this mechanism that Philhealth provides impacts on the financial viability of service providers
  • Audience at the Health for Wealth Summit

  • Dr Lecciones suggests that Philhealth setup a children's fund for kids whose parents failed to enrol in Philhealth.

  • Pargas: there are other institutions providing funding for non-members
  • Forum participant shares experience encouraging tricycle drivers to register with Philhealth

  • Background: the informal sector, also known as the working poor, is the most difficult sector to insure because they are scattered, unorganized
  • Reinier Gloor (PHAP) : since coverage targets families, how is Philhealth targetting those not formally married?
  • Pargas: we are considering other avenues including women for memberships as they tend to be the ones taking care of kids
  • Open forum ends. We will post presentations later on this page.
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