HEALTH Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa has vowed to harness the potential of technology in improving health services and make the public health system resilient to future shocks.
Speaking on Monday at the Department of Health’s (DoH) main office after the formal turnover rites for his new post, he bared his eight-point agenda that he said will be enforced using a “humanistic approach.”
Mr. Herbosa said the provision of timely and safe health services should be realized using technological advancements.
He said the DoH is eyeing to put up more facilities for infectious diseases, including a pandemic preparedness center, which will help the country in monitoring and preventing future diseases.
Mr. Herbosa also vowed to improve the lives of healthcare workers by giving them higher pay and better recognition.
He also promised to provide them with “a clear upward career mobility pathway.”
Mr. Herbosa said he will push for his agenda using a “humanistic” approach, noting that the DoH has been “regulatory” in nature as it tries to promote good governance and prevent corruption.
The human side of health, Mr. Herbosa said, should not be forgotten.
“The way we deliver and govern should be humanistic.”
Also on Monday, the DoH and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) announced that the latter will form the first seven primary care networks (PCNs) in the country.
“Doctors and clinics within these PCNs will start networking with each other to share resources with the patient’s welfare in mind,” the agencies said in a joint statement.
The Universal Health Care (UHC) Act, which Mr. Herbosa has vowed to fully implement, defines “primary care” to be continuous and accessible at the time of need.
Primary care also involves the coordination of referrals from various doctors, clinics and hospitals when needed.
“The UHC Act makes it the main responsibility of the DoH and local government units to make sure that the health care delivery system will make a primary care doctor, assisted by other health workers, available to each and every Filipino. Meanwhile, Filipinos have the right to choose primary care doctors, either from public or private clinics,” the DoH and PhilHealth said.
The agencies said around two million Filipinos in the provinces of Bataan, Guimaras, Quezon and South Cotabato and in Baguio City will initially benefit from the PCN innovation. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza