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PIA Press Release

PhilHealth ups info campaign for more members

By Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (25 May) -- The PhilHealth Dumaguete City Service Office is upping its information campaign to increase PhilHealthmembership in the province.

"Our campaign now focuses on PhilHealth's benefits, or what can a member benefit out of the program considering that mahal ang magpa-hospital karon," said Marites Que, officer in charge of the PhilHealth Dumaguete City Service Office.

Que said that PhilHealth's membership in the province have been on the rise each year.

What was only less than 30,000 members in 2003 have swelled to 143,331 total memberships under all of PhilHealth's programs as of April 30, 2007.

PhilHealth has five programs, namely: Employed Sector, Individually Paying, Non-Paying, Overseas Workers, and the Sponsored or Indigent Program.

More work, however, lies ahead for the government health insurance office which strives to reach one its visions- "universal coverage by 2010", which, Que admits, may sound impossible but for which PhilHealth has started laying down the groundwork.

Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has earlier ordered the acceleration of the issuance of PhilHealth cards to indigent families nationwide as the national government is determine to achieve its goal of providing health insurance to all Filipinos.

In Negros Oriental, a total of 55,316 ID's have been released under PhilHealth's Sponsored/Indigent Program as of April 30, 2007.

Of the total, 7,198 were distributed under the Oplan 2.5M Program, which, Que said, is part of the Oplan 5M Program earlier launched by the President when she gave out free PhilHealth ID's to indigent families.

Premium contribution of enrolled indigent families enrolled under Oplan 2.5M are shouldered by the Department of Budget and Management and PhilHealth.

Under this program, 881 ID's were released in Ayungon; 459, Canlaon City; 5,409, Guihulngan; 2, Jimalalud; 446, La Libertad; and 1, Mabinay.

On the other hand, beneficiaries of the regular indigent program, of which 48,118 IDs have been given out here, are the identified indigent families or "the poorest of the poor" in the community by the local Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the local government unit, said Que.

"Once identified, they are endorsed to us for screening. Under this program, the LGU and Philhealth co-share the payment of the premium of the beneficiaries. The amount to be paid by the LGU depends on the classification of the LGU, whether it's first or second-class," she said.

However, not all 25 towns and cities in the province are implementing the Sponsored/Indigent program.

Based on the latest records from PhilHealth here, Bacong, Bayawan and Dumaguete cities are not implementing the program while the Pamplona LGU did not renew its members.

Of the 21 LGUs implementing the program, Tayasan released the most number of ID's with 7,065, followed by Sta. Catalina with 5,684 and Bindoy with 5,258.

According to Que, PhilHealth's vision is to become a premiere government corporation that will ensure sustainable, affordable and progressive social health insurance which endeavors to influence the delivery of accessible quality health care for all Filipinos.

It also aims to ensure benefits at affordable premiums and establish strong partnership with all stakeholders. (PIA Dumaguete/RMN) [top]

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