February 2, 2023

The city government through the City Health Services Office (CHSO) will engage the private sector in expanding its health system in line with the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act.
CHS Officer Rowena Galpo said the UHC law includes a component on the Health Care Provider Network that enables a local government unit to partner with private groups or companies on various health care ventures.
Under the UHC law, the network may be “a group of primary to tertiary care providers, whether public or private, offering people-centered and comprehensive care in an integrated and coordinated manner with the primary care provider acting as the navigator and coordinator of health care within the network.”
Galpo said the joint venture may be on diagnostics that include laboratory procedures such as X-ray and ultrasound, consultancy or medical service delivery of health professionals, and pharmacies to ensure that medicines are available and affordable.
Galpo said the city’s Local Health Board has begun discussing preparations for the law’s implementation with the Department of Health, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, PhilHealth, Baguio-Benguet Medical Society, and other concerned government and private sector institutions.
Among the plans initially considered in the board meeting were the public-private partnerships to serve health centers in the city apart from the additional guidelines to emanate from the DOH, possible expansion of membership, the local investment plan for health and annual operational plan, referral system with BGHMC, and the strengthening of primary care providers.
On Feb. 17, the city received an unsolicited proposal from a private health care company that offers a tie-up with the city government on the provision of diagnostic equipment and facilities for the CHSO and health centers.
The proposal will be reviewed by the concerned offices. – Aileen P. Refuerzo