January 29, 2023

The city’s Local Health Board met for the second time since its re-activation last December to prepare the roadmap for the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law in Baguio City.
The meeting held Tuesday at City Hall was chaired by City Health Officer Rowena Galpo and attended by representatives from the City Health Services Office, Department of Health, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, PhilHealth, Baguio-Benguet Medical Society, and other concerned government and private sector institutions.
The agenda included the updating of the existing executive order of the board to reflect the inclusion of additional members as deemed necessary based on foreseen involvement of other stakeholders in the local health system; and include the expanded roles and responsibilities of the local health board members and its technical working group.
The board was organized during the term of former Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who also signed the corresponding executive order.
It was learned during the meeting that the DOH central office is preparing additional guidelines for the UHC implementation.
Also discussed were the local investment plan for health and annual operational plan; referral system with BGHMC; and possible health centers for private-public partnerships.
The health board agreed that among the ways for the UHC to move forward is strengthening of primary care providers; for the DOH to capacitate and equip primary care health providers; and the establishment of a referral system that would include private hospitals and an apex hospital like BGHMC. – Gaby Keith