In its mission to address the sustainable development goal for health and well-being (SDG 3), the World Health Organization (WHO) encouraged the United Nations member-states including the Philippines to make a serious investment in healthcare, as it would relevantly improve and save lives. Through WHO’s encouragement and the political efforts made by the national government, the Republic Act 11223, termed as the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act, was established.
During his keynote message on the recently conducted Caraga Health Research Forum last November 5-6, 2019 at Father Saturnino Urios University, Butuan City, Dr. Jose R. Llacuna Jr., CHRDC Chair and the Regional Director of the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) Caraga, discussed the agency’s strategic framework in relevance to the promotion of the newly signed Universal Healthcare act. The strategic framework, which is translated into the FOURmula 1+ program of the Department of Health, focuses on its vision to ensure that Filipinos will become among the healthiest people in Southeast Asia by 2022 and in Asia by 2040. The program’s mission as well as to lead the country in the development of a people-centered, resilient and equitable health system in which, will result in better health outcomes, updated financial risk protection, and improved responsiveness of service delivery. Dr. Llacuna Jr. also emphasized that the program includes the use of performance management systems to drive performance in the DOH and in the health sector, as well as to ensure the accountability of all stakeholders in health.
In the afternoon session of the forum, Ms. Romelyn Torralba, Health Education and Promotion Officer of DOH-CHD Caraga, also continued the topic on UHC. Discussing in detail the four strategic pillars namely the Health Financing, Health Service Delivery, Health Regulation, and the Good Governance in Health. Health financing secures sustainable investments to improve health outcomes and ensure efficient and equitable use of health resources. Health service delivery ensures the availability of essential health quality services at appropriate levels of care, especially for the poor. Health regulation ensures the safety, quality, affordability, and accessibility of health products, devices, facilities, and services, especially those commonly used by the poor. Good governance in health strengthens the capacities and coordination of management support systems and leads a participatory approach involving patients to ensure the accountability of all stakeholders in health.
With the goal of strengthening the quality of health in the region, as well as promoting a culture of research for both member and non-member institutions of the consortium, the CHRDC through the conduct of the 2nd Caraga Health Research Forum, made sure that the participants will have at least a general idea of what the Universal Health Care Act is all about. The consortium, with the collaboration of the existing programs of DOH-CHD Caraga and Philhealth Caraga, will continue its efforts on promoting the newly signed RA 11223 as part of its core vision in creating a dynamic health research community for the attainment of health in the region.