Scheme to expand health insurance coverage

Subscribe Now December 06, 2010 at 01:34pm

The Health department is expanding health insurance coverage through a "zero payment" scheme for the poorest of the poor.

In his recent visit to this municipality to lead the inauguration of the newly refurbished Davao Oriental Provincial Hospital, Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona said the department will use results of the National Targeting Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development to identify the poorest of the poor as beneficiaries of the expanded program. Mr. Ona said zero payment means the poor will not have to pay a single centavo in availing of universal health care service, with the department looking at 5.2 million family beneficiaries.

He said the department will "engage the LGUs (local government units)" in identifying beneficiaries, adding the department will draw up policies that will strengthen delivery of universal health care through card-bearing Philippine Health Insurance Corp. members.

The department is expected to spend P3.4 billion for this project, said Health Assistant Secretary Romulo A. Busuego who accompanied Mr. Ona to the event.

By spending for the poorest Mr. Busuego said, "the coverage will not be ‘colored,’" referring to the practice of some politicians to provide health care coverage only to supporters.

Such arrangement is highlighted during election period when health cards are issued to voters in the guise of providing for the welfare of the public.

For her part, Gov. Corazon N. Malanyaon said her administration has enrolled about 36,000 families to the universal health care under the province’s Madayaw Health Care program.

She noted that the number is about 94% of those in the poverty threshold.

The coverage has been expanded, the governor said, as the burden of paying the premium is shared by the local government units, with 50% from the provincial government and the remaining half is split between the congressional districts and the municipal governments.


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