PH committed to Universal Health Care implementation: DOF chief
June 18, 2020 - Thursday 11:06 AM by PNAFinance Secretary Carlos Dominguez
MANILA – Authorities are in talks on how to address Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) financing woes and its impact on the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act.
In a Viber message to journalists Wednesday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said officials of the Department of Finance (DOF), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and PhilHealth are discussing ways on how to sustain UHC implementation.
“The government is committed to UHC particularly to ensure access of our most vulnerable groups to much needed healthcare especially during this difficult time,” he said.
During a joint congressional committee hearing on Tuesday, PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales cited the need for a “general delay” of UHC implementation, as he forecast a budget deficit for the agency until 2024.
Morales said the agency is now “trying to conserve its resources” because of lower contribution payments during the quarantine period because companies were forced to stop operations.
He also cited the increase in releases to provide for the needs of members amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infections.
Morales projects that Covid-19-related releases will cost the agency about PHP40.7 billion from February this year until January 2021.
In the first four months this year, the agency collected PHP46.5 billion in premium income, lower than the PHP52.5-billion benefit expense that has been released during the same period, he said. (PNA)
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