GENERAL SANTOS CITY (March 10, 2023) - The Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Sarangani held its Local Health Board (LHB) meeting for the 1st quarter of 2023 on March 8.
The meeting was spearheaded by Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Arvin Alejandro.
The discussion focused on crafting the policies and guidelines for the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC's) mandate, Konsulta + Sustainable Development Goals, or Konsulta + SDG.
The project is an implementation mechanism to achieve the objective of UHC, which seeks to provide comprehensive outpatient benefits and primary healthcare to its members.
Dr. Alejandro explained, "noong naipasa kasi itong UHC, naiwan ang mga LGUs, which resulted in the delay of the implementation caused by lack of appropriate funding."
Through the Konsulta + SDG, Alejandro added that "PhilHealth will give us (PLGU) an advance payment kahit wala pa tayong naibibigay na serbisyo amounting to 40% of the P1,730."
According to Alejandro, the P1,730 is PhilHealth’s "payment" to the LGUs for providing healthcare to their constituents.
"If we are talking about some 300,000 individuals here sa Sarangani as our beneficiaries, we are front-loading more than P200 million," Alejandro said.
This will be utilized for the annual requirements of the constituents who have baseline examinations, provide medical assistance such as maintenance, and can help in the augmentation of additional doctors and nurses.
Alejandro clarified that the province and its LGUs "will have no counterpart" except that the province, by virtue of the UHC law, will manage the funds from PhilHealth.
The health officer disclosed that Konsulta + SDG is eyed to be implemented before the second half of the year.
Follow-up meetings are also set to be conducted for the crafting of the project’s pilot policies, as Konsulta + SDG is a new system to be implemented.
A series of meetings with the municipal health officers and partner agencies will also be conducted for the crafting of the memorandum of agreement to be signed by the LGUs, PhilHealth, and USAID.
The PLHB also included a discussion on the province-wide health system under the UHC regime, primary care providers network as the foundation for ensuring the population’s equitable access to essential health services, and simulation of PhilHealth payments and expenditures.
Present during the meeting were Malungon Mayor Maria Theresa Constantino, Malapatan Mayor Salway Sumbo Jr., Alabel Mayor Vic Paul Salarda, Maasim Mayor Zyrex Pacquiao, Kiamba Mayor George Falgui, Board Members Irish Louie Arnado and Joseph Calanao, DOH Regional Director Dr. Aristides Tan, DOH Provincial Director Dr. Shahrir Dulduco, staff from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), municipal health officers, and stakeholders.
In his message, Governor Pacquiao thanked all the members of the PLHB for doing their best to provide healthcare services to the community.
He also added that all the efforts of the PLHB members and partner agencies are greatly appreciated, and he hoped that everyone would continue to be actively engaged so that the community could take advantage of the health services offered by PhilHealth and other national agencies. (Joshua John S. Pantonial/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Photos by Nico Aguilar