DOH-12 approves P1.5M for health care program in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 13 Aug) – The Department of Health (DOH) in Region 12 has approved the release of an additional P1.5-million grant to the city government to facilitate the implementation of health initiatives in support of the national government’s “Kalusugang Pangkalahatan (KP)” or universal health care program.

Dr. Edgardo Sandig, City Integrated Health Services Office (CIHSO) chief, said the local government is set to sign a supplemental agreement with DOH-Region 12 for the funding and implementation during the second half of the year of the KP program within the city’s 26 barangays.

He said the new agreement is an offshoot of the signing in July last year between the local government and the DOH-12 of a service level deal for the funding of activities related to health sector reforms in the area.

Through the KP program, the government mainly wants to ensure financial risk protection for residents, especially the poor, through the expansion of health insurance enrollment and benefit delivery, a DOH briefer said.

It aims for improved access to quality hospitals and health care facilities; and the attainment of health-related Millennium Development Goals through the deploying of community health teams that shall actively assist families in assessing and acting on their health needs.

Under the new supplemental agreement, the city government is mandated to formulate and submit to the DOH-12 a work and financial plan that details the activities for the implementation of the KP program.

The funds will be used for the activity of the established community health teams and the mobilization of its members amounting to P250 a month, it said.

DOH-12 is tasked to review and approve the local government’s work and financial plan, monitor the program’s implementation, the disbursement and utilization of the released funds.

Sandig said the city government initially received various financial grants last year for the implementation of its city-wide investment planning for health (CIPH) and annual operational plan (AOP) activities.

The CIPH is a tool that provides a framework for the development of a medium-term public investment plan in health for cities and is translated to operational terms through the AOP.

Under the program, the local government adopted last year a five-year development plan that sets the upgrading and modernization of the area’s health care systems.

The plan mainly focuses on the strengthening of the CIHSO’s manpower and service delivery mechanisms as well as the improvement of local health facilities and equipment.

Sandig said the initiative pushed for the institutionalization of the zoning concept in the delivery of various health care services to residents of the city.

He was referring to the inter-local health zones (ILHZ) earlier established by the CIHSO as part of its adoption of the Local Area Health Development Zone (LAHDZ) project that was piloted in nearby South Cotabato several years ago while he was still the province’s health officer.

A project briefer said LAHDZ refers to a district or a catchment area composed of a number of neighboring municipalities or districts that were linked together to improve networking and strengthen cooperation on health matters.

Areas within an established LAHDZ formulate, implement and evaluate their own local health plans, health information systems, two-way referral systems, health resources management and development systems, health care financing schemes, hospital regulations and management systems and community mobilization strategies.