Friday, October 10, 2014

Province allots P60M budget for Point-of-Care program

            LINGAYEN --- The provincial government has allotted P60-million to bolster its health care services through the Point-of-Care (POC) enrolment program for the indigent families.

            This developed as the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or Philhealth hailed anew the all-out support of Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr for the agency’s Kalusugan Pangkalahatan or the Universal Health Care program intended for underprivileged families.

            During the orientation on the POC initiative held last October 7,  Elvira C. Ver, assistant vice-president of Philhealth, cited Pangasinan as the only province in the country that has  the highest budget allocation for POC enrolment program.

            Implemented since November 14, 2013 under PhilHealth’s Circular 32 series of 2013, the POC enrolment program is aimed at giving the non-Philhealth members a full health package benefits at the time of their admission to the government-owned hospitals.

            “This is a new health care mechanism wherein an indigent person or his dependent who needs urgent medical help specifically at the point of care could be admitted even without money from his pocket,” Ver said.

            The POC, which is under the ambit of Universal Health Care, has been designed to further strengthen the “No Balance Billing Policy” and “No Payout from the Pocket” in the government hospitals.

            “This is to ensure that no poor will be left behind from using government health care facilities and case rate packages and draw them away from traditional thinking that they would not be admitted to the hospital due to lack of money,” Ver pointed out.

            Under the POC enrolment program, the government hospital could immediately enroll a non-Philhealth member classified as Class C3 or D category at the time of admission by shouldering P2,400 as premium contribution for one year. 

            The POC enrollee will automatically enjoy the health care benefits from the first day of confinement and will end up to the last day of the same year.

            As of September 2014, the province’s 14 government-owned hospitals have already registered a total of 7,193 POC enrollees since it was fully implemented with premium payments at P17-million to Philhealth. 
            With a target of 25,000 indigent families, Dr. Jeremy Rosario, assistant provincial health officer for hospital operations, has asked the representatives of the chief of hospitals to certify their clients according to the requirements for Class C3 and D category (income of P2,000 and below per month).

            Ver expressed optimism that POC enrolment program will be fully implemented in Pangasinan stressing that Philhealth is committed to be “sound, viable and transparent,” in dealing with all all DOH-accredited hospitals in Region 1.

            “We are paying half a billion pesos every month to all hospitals in Region 1 so there will no reason that this POC program will not be fully implemented,”she said.    (MR)

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