Baguio to institutionalize universal health care

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing universal health care in the city, prescribing reforms in the citywide health care system, and appropriating funds for the said purpose.

City legislators stated the city government recognizes the importance of integrating the management, delivery, and financing of health services as a means to improve health outcomes and to realize the vision of the same, the measure has been submitted for deliberation.

Further, the city acknowledges that achievement of the aforesaid integration requires strong relationships and the creation of an environment of trust, collaboration and innovation.

The council stipulated that the integration outcomes is a citywide health system in which the city government and stakeholders working closely with the civil society organizations, and other partners such as, but not limited to the health department, interior and local government department, education department, and the social welfare and development department, agree to take shared responsibility on how collective resources are organized, managed, delivered ad financed to improve the outcome desired.

Moreover, the city shall endeavor to develop a primary health care-oriented citywide health system exhibiting managerial integration with technical integration with the next 3 years and financial integration within the next 3 years thereafter.

The council claimed the city commits to working together with stakeholders to achieve the integration outputs and outcomes acting in accordance with the principles that health shall be a shared accountability among the State, communities and individuals; equity and fairness shall guide the path towards progressive realization of a universality by prioritizing the needs of unserved and underserved and marginalized through evidence-informed planning and fair and transparent priority setting; primary health care through multi-sectoral action shall be the ethos of the health system with people-centered, primary care-led integration as the bedrock of health care delivery system; health care delivery shall be patient centric with the State guaranteeing access to necessary and essential services and commodities by provider of choice; information shall guide decision-making at the institutional and individual level, with due respect to privacy, while minimizing power asymmetry between provider groups and the general population had there shall be equal pay for equal work; better pay for more efficient and higher quality of work wherein incentives and remuneration should be based on the value of service provided regardless of ownership or affiliation.

The city shall ensure funding for the effective health operations and conduct of activities such as but not limited to capacity building, research, and health promotion consistent with national guidelines and with support from the health department and it shall also pool and manage all resources intended for health services through a devised system.

The formulation of implementing rules and regulations for better enforcement of the ordinance shall be directed by the city chief executive with the approval of the local legislative body. By Dexter A. See

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