Policy Analysis on Province-level Integration of Healthcare System in Light of the Universal Health Care Act
Background. The enactment of the Universal Healthcare (UHC) Act affirms the commitment of the State to safeguard the health of all Filipinos. One of the objectives of the Act is to integrate the different local health systems at the provincial level in order to minimize fragmentation in the delivery of health services. This significant undertaking needs effective inter-sectoral collaborations of various stakeholders both at the local and national levels.
Methods. A systematic review of literature was conducted to generate evidence-based policy tools. A roundtable discussion (RTD) was organized in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH) to frame the current issues of the devolved health system and the anticipated challenges surrounding the integration to the provincial level. Policy discussion was guided by specific operational concerns put forth by the DOH such as the roles and functions of key local actors, organizational models, and metrics of integration.
Results. Inputs in the proposed organogram for the province-level integrated health system and assessment tool for identifying readiness of provinces were discussed and agreed upon. Critical issues in the composition of the members of the Provincial Health Board (PHB) and the line of command among constituents were raised.
Conclusion and Recommendations. Eight consensus key policy recommendations have been identified. These could be translated into operational guidelines for the DOH, local government units (LGUs), and other related national government agencies (NGAs) in implementing the local health systems integration as prescribed in the UHC Act.