MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday that 82 percent of the Filipino population now enjoy PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corp.) coverage.According to DOH Acting Secretary Janette L. Garin, the figure includes the 14.7 million poor and near poor families identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s “Listahanan” and other members such as those employed in the government, privately-employed, individually-paying or voluntary members, lifetime members, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Secretary Garin, however, said that one should not remain focused on the number of enrollees alone.
“What is important after two decades of providing service to the people is the provision of quality service afforded to every Filipino, rich and poor alike,” she stressed.
She also said that there is a need for increased awareness of PhilHealth members’ benefits and wider database which in turn translates to improved utilization of resources.
“Most members are not fully aware of their benefits,” she noted.
At the same time, she said that private employers should be encouraged to enroll their employees with PhilHealth because enrollment in the program results to improved and increased productivity of workers.
She explained that being enrolled in the PhilHealth program will give a feeling of security among employees that they have something to “lean on” through tough times in their health conditions or that of any member of the family.
She also called on all stakeholders, including medical societies, legislators, local government units, and other executive officials to work together as PhilHealth cannot do it alone.
“Sustainable Universal Health Care is all about us working together,” she stressed.
Other vulnerable members of society now mandated to be enrolled in PhilHealth are the elderly, abandoned and neglected children, persons with disabilities, kasambahays, barangay workers without compensation, and project-based employees.
“The promise of health care for the poor without having to pay out-of-pocket expenses is now within reach. Let us work together to surmount challenges and ensure that Universal Health Care becomes a reality for all Filipinos,” she said.
For this month of February, PhilHealth is celebrating its 20th anniversary which will be marked by a “PhilHealth Run 2015” in 13 regional sites nationwide.
The PhilHealth Run 2015 will be simultaneously held on Feb. 15, wherein the beneficiaries will be the identified disadvantage sectors.
Through the proceeds from the event, the identified disadvantaged sectors will be provided with resources to enhance their plight.
The Fun Run will also highlight the awareness campaign dubbed “PhilHealth: Ready, TSeKaP, Go!” which aims to create awareness on the services that PhilHealth provides for members and how those benefits can be availed of.
By availing of check-up and early diagnosis, the PhilHealth members can be given proper doctor’s advice on how to keep their condition healthy and away from costly hospitalization as there are some illnesses that are preventable like “lifestyle diseases.”