DOH: Next president should focus on strategies, implementation of Universal Health Care

The next administration should focus on the implementation and strategies of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act, Health Undersecretary Maria Vergerie said on Tuesday.

Vergerie, citing the importance of UHC amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Department of Health will present to the next president what course of action still needs to be done.

“We would be providing our soon to be president, first the universal health care. Its strategies and implementation goals. Yun po ang ibibigay natin sa kanya,” she said in a news briefing.

(We would be providing our soon to be president, first the universal health care. Its strategies and implementation goals. That is what we will give him.)

It was in February 2019 when President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the UHC Act, which guarantees that all Filipinos will have equal access to quality and affordable goods and services in healthcare.

Under the law, all Filipino citizens are automatically enrolled in the National Health Insurance Program as direct contributors or those who can pay premiums, and indirect contributors sponsored by the government such as indigents and senior citizens.

Vergerie said that they would also be endorsing strategies for the pandemic response, adding that the DOH plans to “live with the coronavirus disease” by vaccinating more people and implementing minimum public health protocols.

“So, unang-una nandyan ang ating Center for Disease Control (CDC) na bill na pinapapasa sa Kongreso at Senado kung saan ma-restructure ang DOH na magkaroon tayo ng institution kung saan ito ang ating sasandalan pagdating sa pandemya, infectious disease, research, data and surveillance sa ating bansa,” she explained.

(So, first of all there is our Center for Disease Control (CDC) bill that is being passed in the Congress and Senate, where the DOH can be restructured so that we have an institution we can lean on when it comes to pandemics, infectious diseases, research, data and surveillance in our country.)

“Pangalawa, yung ating Vaccine Institute of the Philippines, yan po ay sinusuportahan po natin. Pangatlo, meron din tayong sinusulong din na national health security act kung for us to be more resilient during these times na nagkakaroon tayo ng crisis sa ating bansa. Ito po yung ilalatag at ipapakita sa ating next administration,” she added.

(Secondly, we support our Vaccine Institute of the Philippines. Third, we also have a National Health Security act for us to be more resilient during these times that we are having a crisis in our country. These are what we will be proposing to our next administration.)

Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte are leading the presidential and vice presidential race, according to the partial and unofficial count of votes from 97.93% of the nationwide election returns as shown in the Comelec Transparency Server.

As of 4:17 p.m., Tuesday, Marcos had 30,993,431 votes while Duterte got 31,435,335. — BM, GMA News

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