The Department of Health (DOH), under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., has reported significant strides in ensuring more accessible and adaptable healthcare services for all Filipinos as the government takes action towards the full implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act of 2019.

In his first 100 days since his appointment on June 6 this year, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa focused on ensuring healthcare services are accessible to all Filipinos, regardless of socio-economic status.

“Dapat ramdam ng bawat Pilipino ang UHC,” Herbosa said during one of his engagements.

The DOH said they employed the principle of “No One Gets Left Behind” aligned with their 8-Point Action Agenda, which encompasses safe, and quality service delivery, preparedness against pandemics and crisis, as well as ensuring the welfare and rights of healthcare workers—key aspects that underscore the much-needed transformation in the country’s health sector. 

The 8-Point Action Agenda of DOH include Bawat Pilipino, Ramdam ang Kalusugan; Ligtas, dekalidad, at mapagkalingang serbisyo; Teknolohiya para sa mabilis na serbisyong pangkalusugan; Handa sa Krisis; Pag-iwas sa sakit; Ginhawa sa Isip at Damdamin; Kapakanan at Karapatan ng Health Workers; and, Proteksyon sa anumang pandemya.

For 2023, the health department has sustained a one-stop shop program that provides government health services for indigent patients by putting up more Malasakit Centers across the country. As of September, there are already 159 Malasakit Centers, with the latest inaugurated at the Bislig District Hospital in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur.

They also continued to engage with their stakeholders through various meeting, seminars, and conferences that would help strengthen the implementation of UHC.

DOH took President Marcos’ directive to pursue a whole-of-society approach in combating tuberculosis, or TB, and HIV/AIDS. 

The agency also reported on its preparedness to assist local government units in times of crisis situations, through its participation in earthquake drills, and presence in areas under emergency situations such as disasters and calamities. 

Under Herbosa’s leadership, the DOH also made sure to look after the welfare of healthcare workers, especially in pushing for the release of past-due obligations to healthcare workers who served during the COVID-19 pandemic. | PND