Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Friday said the Department of Health (DOH) is gearing towards the development of universal health care program.

Speaking during the 62nd Annual Convention of the International College of Surgeons, Binay said that Kalusugan sa Pangkalahatan, a program initiated by DOH, seeks to provide universal PhilHealth coverage for all Filipinos and in the process, reduce their financial risks.

“This will benefit people from all economic strata, but the poor, most especially, shall find better lives because of it,” Binay said.

“To pursue this track, the DOH shall tap private public partnerships to encourage more people to become part of PhilHealth, and to assist PhilHealth in improving its services for its members. Under this approach, these objectives can be accomplished at no added cost to the corporation,” he added.

The Vice President said that the DOH and local chief executives met last month to assess the progress of health reforms toward Kalusugan sa Pangkalahatan.

He said that similar to the Pabahay Caravan of the housing sector, the DOH also has its own Monitoring and Evaluation for Equity and Effectiveness (ME3) conference which identifies and measures health reforms implemented by the LGUs.

“Within this program, LGUs are assessed through their efforts in implementing health reforms. Additionally, through the ME3 program, a venue is provided for the transparency and accountability of data and progress to various stakeholders,” Binay said.

“The resulting scorecards will offer government and public health officials insights on which areas they can improve on, particularly in the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases, access to medicine and health services, the modernization of health facilities, the expansion of child and maternal health care, the adequate allocation of budget for health, and the improvement of LGU internal and sectoral management,” he added.

Binay said that the surgeons can provide valuable inputs to the DOH and their respective LGUs, and will be “of great aid in formulating policy and allocating resources.” He also urged them to efforts to prevent diseases and ailments.

The Vice President is the chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.