Saturday, 16 January 2021

Sarangani among PH’s United Health Care pilots

ALABEL, Sarangani (September 19, 2019) – Sarangani will be among the 33 provinces in the Philippines to pilot the Universal Health Care (UHC) program in 2020.

In Region 12, only Sarangani and South Cotabato are included as part of the 10 geographical sites in Mindanao, 13 in Luzon, eight in the Visayas and two in the National Capital Region for the first year implementation of the program.

With the pronouncement of the mayors with Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon during the provincial dialogue on Universal Health Care last September 6, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Arvin Alejandro is expecting for a unified implementation of health programs under UHC in Sarangani.

Alejandro said Sarangani will embark on a collective investment plan where he noted Sarangani mayors are “engaged in the decisions as to what to be addressed as priorities” in the province’s health services.

With UHC, Alejandro is hopeful that the whole health system in the province will be addressed where, he said, “public health is improving and the hospitals are improving but hospitals will be accepting less patients because patients are being managed at the community” thru health districts.

The provincial government in Sarangani is working out with its municipal LGUs in coming up with municipal ordinance to support the establishment of their 22 target health districts all over the province which would later be a component of the UHC.

Based on their health rationalization plan, Alejandro said these health districts will have 8-hour laboratory, 24-hour birthing home, 8-hour consultation, a pharmacy with 26 essential medicines, and an animal bite treatment center. Also covered is the treatment for pediatric and adult tuberculosis through outpatient Directly-Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS).

Alejandro projected this would lessen hospital admissions in Sarangani with the additional 22 doctors to attend to patients seeking consultation.

“Sa hospital, with the total population, 10% lang po dapat dyan ang pumupunta. Ang masaklap, with the 60% cases that should have been treated through consultation, sa hospital na pumupunta,” Alejandro added.

The provincial government operates hospitals in Glan, Malungon, Maasim, Kiamba, Maitum and the big health care facility at the Provincial Capitol in Alabel which would become the provincial hospital.

Alejandro calculated some P400 million should fund the first year implementation of UHC in Sarangani based on their Philhealth collection for the whole province for 2018 which he expected to be frontloaded to Sarangani. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE)

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