2nd PhilHealth Forward for 2015 Held

Alexander Padilla, CEO of Philhealth

EXEMPLARY frontline servicing of PhilHealth’s Regional and Local Health Insurance Offices, a best practice in government, new benefit packages and the effect of enrolment in the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) among fellow Filipinos in conflict and vulnerable areas were showcased in the recent PhilHealth Forward held at the SM Megatrade Hall in Mandaluyong City.

Speaking before attendees that included foreign and local development partners, officers from the Civil Service Commission, Development Academy of the Philippines and media, PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Alexander A. Padilla said that “we are showcasing our latest products and services so that our stakeholders are reminded about our key messages, and for these messages to flow into our audience’s consciousness particularly in matters affecting their health.”

He also assured the audience that PhilHealth “shall remain relentless in the pursuit of Universal Health Care” despite the task of reaching the uncovered population. “When we look at our neighbours in the Asia Pacific Region, we realize that covering the remaining portion of the population is indeed very difficult to achieve. It may be because they could not be reached by our existing systems and networks, or they simply do not yet see the need for PhilHealth coverage.”

First to be featured were the numerous Seal of Excellence awards bestowed by the CSC on various Local Health Insurance Offices (LHIOs) and PhilHealth Regional Offices (PROs) in recognition of these offices’ commitment to beat red tape in government. “PhilHealth is one of our outstanding models of excellence”and that the government agency is “a very bright spot” in government frontline servicing, said CSC Director Maria Luisa Agamata.

She also announced that for 2015, 88 of the 133 LHIOs surveyed via the Report Card Survey have merited Excellent Ratings, 44 have posted Good performances, one (1) achieved an Outstanding rating and none failed. She also cited that PhilHealth is the CSC’s top-of-mind when delegates from Thailand’s public sector development came over in October to learn more about frontline service excellence.

The recent victory of the PhilHealth Customer Assistance, Relations and Empowerment Staff (P-CARES) Project in the Philippine Government Best Practice Competition was also featured. The DAP’s Project Manager, Melanie Mercader, shared that “the key point that made P-CARES win is that it has proven its strong linkage of delivering PhilHealth’s mandate of making health care benefits more inclusive. It has established an innovative approach in understanding and building customer relationship in the public sector and it has maximized the potential of Filipino workers or work force particularly the nurses, in the implementation of P-CARES.”

She hoped that “this project will continue to benefit all of the members of PhilHealth” and described the initiative from PhilHealth as “an indication of the start of its journey to excellence.” The win automatically granted the P-CARES Project a slot in the 4th International Best Practice Competition organized by the Center for Organizational Excellence Research, New Zealand.

Another important feature that was presented in the PhilHealth Forward was the report on strides made by the NHIP for the Bangsamoro population through the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program. According to Atty. Khaliquzzaman M. Macabato, Regional Vice President for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, “it is truly a privilege for us at PhilHealth Regional Office ARMM to have presented the concrete testimony of how the government has helped change lives through the PAMANA project. Bringing social health protection to the most far-flung areas in the country including conflict-affected and conflict-vulnerable communities is another milestone towards realizing PhilHealth’s vision of making bawa’t Pilipino miyembro, bawa’t miyembro protektado, kalusugan natin, segurado.”

Video presentations featuring member testimonials on how the NHIP was able to provide them with financial risk protection during medical situations were also shown. The video materials highlighted stories from various members faced with differing medical conditions in different parts of the country and even overseas. An exhibit featuring these individuals was also put up at the PhilHealth Forward venue.

A brief look at how the No Balance Billing policy came about was also showcased, with a member from Mandaluyong City sharing her story on how the policy was applied to her availment when she gave birth. PhilHealth Forward is an institutionalized activity aimed at showcasing the latest developments in PhilHealth’s products and services.