February 26, 2024

As part of its efforts in making primary care available for all, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has allotted P61 million for free consultation and medicines for all residents of Baguio City.

PhilHealth Regional Vice President Dr. Dominga Gadgad said this is after Baguio has been selected as one of the pilot sites for the “sandbox” or the provision of Konsulta package that can be availed of by residents.

Gadgad said the sandbox is a pilot site for primary care provider network where all residents registered with PhilHealth can avail of free medical consultation and medicines.

“All residents are encouraged to register for the Konsulta package with an accredited health center or facility of their choice,” she said.

The health program started in July and until June 2024, wherein each qualified resident is entitled to P500 for free consultation and medicine.

An initial amount of P15M has already been downloaded to the city government.

Dr. Glen Cornelio Lamsis, head of PhilHealth-Cordillera healthcare delivery management division, said services that can be availed of in the package are consultation, health screening, selected laboratory services, and selected medicines and check-up for diseases that can be managed by the accredited health care provider.

This includes attending to diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, urinary tract infection, and asthma; and around 30 lab procedures, which will be performed upon the request of the physician. Those that are not included in the package will be shouldered by the PhilHealth member.

To avail of the Konsulta package, Lamsis said the resident must be a PhilHealth member with a membership ID. Those who are not yet a member may register through the PhilHealth website or go to their health center or the nearest local health insurance office.

Once registered, the resident/patient must generate an authorization transaction code either from the PhilHealth website or the LHIO which will be required for the first patient encounter where baseline data on their health status will be processed.

A health worker will do the initial screening followed by the consultation with the physician.

The Konsulta package is available in 16 district health centers and facilities in the city, namely Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Olympian Med, an accredited health facility; and the health centers at barangays Fort del Pilar, Asin, Atab, Atok Trail, Campo Filipino, City Camp, Engineer’s Hill, Irisan, Loakan, Lucban, Pacdal, Pinsao, Quezon Hill, and Quirino Hill.

Due to the limited of district health centers in the city, Gadgad said PhilHealth is encouraging private health facilities to also offer the Konsulta package by having the facility accredited.

Lamsis said the Konsulta package aims to equip the primary care providers so that when residents need health services, they will be able to provide all that is needed in primary care screening and so that patients no longer have to go to the hospitals for simple diagnostics. – Hanna C. Lacsamana