The Taguig City Government and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) have entered into an agreement to provide more indigent families in the city access to a wide range of health benefits.
Mayor Lani Cayetano signed the agreement with PhilHealth vice president for Metro Manila Dr. Shirley Domingo at the Taguig City Hall auditorium last October 16, in the presence of other Taguig and PhilHealth officials.
Based on the agreement, some 5,276 marginalized and underprivileged families in Taguig would be provided PhilHealth coverage under the sponsorship of the local government.
“We are doing this to ensure that the poorest of the poor who are non-members of PhilHealth will have access to medical and health benefits. This is our response to achieve the national government’s agenda of a universal health care,” said Mayor Lani Cayetano.
The 5,276 new beneficiary families are in addition to the 9,062 indigents that have been identified in the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), which was completed in 2008. PhilHealth premiums of beneficiaries identified in the NHTS-PR are subsidized by the national government.
The additional beneficiaries in Taguig were identified in a survey conducted by the city’s community health teams (CHT’s) and subsequently verified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Dr. Isaias Ramos, chief of the City Health Office, said that under the agreement the Taguig City Government committed to subsidize the PhilHealth premium of the 5,276 poor families from September 1 this year up to December 31, 2013.
For its part, PhilHealth agreed to provide Taguig a discounted rate for the premium of its sponsored beneficiaries of P400 per family from September to December this year, and P1,200 per family in 2013.
PhilHealth hiked its premium from P1,200 per family annually to P2,400 beginning January this year but offered a 50 percent discount to sponsors who would commit to subsidize premium payments of poor families up to 2013.
PhilHealth members and their dependents under the sponsored program may be provided healthcare for free under certain conditions at any PhilHealth-accredited government facility or hospital.
Members can also avail of out-patient benefits, as well as medicines, in health centers where they are enlisted.
Dr. Ramos said CHTs are continuously conducting surveys and assessments to identify other potential beneficiaries of the PhilHealth sponsorship program of the local government.
Mayor Lani has devoted a lot of her effort on improving the delivery of health services to Taguigenos. Under her term, the city government managed to provide a complete staff consisting of a doctor, nurse and dentist for each of the city’s health centers.
She also initiated infrastructure projects for the health sector, including the construction of the Taguig City Emergency Hospital and the “Super Health Centers” intended to serve as mini-hospitals that are open to the public 24/7. END