Bohol is now ready to mobilize Universal Health Care (UHC) after it qualifies as one of the primary UHC Integration Sites (UIS) in the country last October 30, 2020 as announced through a virtual meeting with the Department of Health (DOH) – Central Visayas Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas, Gov. Arthur C. Yap, Dr. Yul Lopez of Provincial Health Office (PHO), together with representatives from the regional Center for Health Development (CHD) and health institutions in the Province of Bohol.

UHC Integration Sites (UIS) are selected provinces or cities that will be supported and contracted by the DOH and PhilHealth to demonstrate various approaches and mechanisms to achieve technical integration, managerial integration by 2022, and financial integration by 2025 as prescribe by the UHC Law.

The engagementmeeting highlighted the current health system situation in the province, the 2021 UIS implementation plan and the projected standard settings of the program. This includes the provisional features of Province or City-Wide Health Systems (P/CWHS) such as population profiling, primary care mechanisms, coordination of referral system, sufficient HRH, result-based performance and incentivization, extensive network of health facilities, funds pooled and managed at the network level and network-wide investment plan and resource allocation.Themeeting also reviewed morbidity reports of 2019 and COVID-19 relatedreports in 2020.

Dr. Bernadasexpounded that Bohol will get full technical support from the DOH-Region 7 Health Office by focusing on the stipulated implementation timeline which has assigned focal persons that will deliver through structured meetings and coordination between the networks.

Governor Arthur Yapassured that next year, the technical and financial integration should be mobilized already to make sure that majority of Boholanos can benefit the provisions of the UHC program especially insituations that they need medical assistance. He also called P/CWHS heads to create and assign teams that will be responsible in coordinating and communicating with the Provincial Government of Bohol in relation to the development of the UIS implementation that will fully start next year.

Furthermore, Dr. Mutya Kismet Macuno, the Medical Center Chief of Governor Celestino Gallares MemorialHospital (GCGMH),shared good news as the hospital’s family department is now accredited as an apex hospital in the UIS implementation.

The scope of the UIS integration-specific reforms in the P/CWHS includes eliminating redundancies, simplifying PhilHealth membership, pooling funds to PhilHealth, National Human Resources for Health (HRH) Master Plan, regulating coverage co-payment, transparent pricing, setting system standards, licensing and registries, health promotion, health impact assessment, data management and health technology assessment. (Jigs/ PRIMER)