Towards Universal Quality Health Care through an Independent Accreditation Agency: A Review

  • Gabriel R. Borlongan
  • Ma-Ann M. Zarsuelo
  • Michael Antonio F. Mendoza
  • Ma. Esmeralda C. Silva
  • Leonardo R. Estacio Jr.
Keywords: Third Party Accreditation, National Health Insurance, Universal Health Insurance, Universal Health Care, Health Policy


Background. Guaranteeing quality of health care services is part of the objectives of Republic Act No. 11223 or the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act of 2019. In assuring that quality services are delivered by health care providers, they must be accredited to participate in the National Health Insurance Program. The UHC Act mandates the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to recognize third party mechanisms as basis of granting incentives for health facilities that deliver services of higher quality. This review aimed to identify lessons and experiences from literature that can be adopted and contextualized in the Philippine setting, for strategic policies on strengthening the national health facility accreditation system.

Methods. A systematic review of literature was conducted to generate evidence-based recommendations from discussions on cross country experiences and local government initiatives towards improved accreditation system.

Results. By virtue of the UHC Act, a form of strategic purchasing is further institutionalized through a rating system that incentivizes health facilities that provide better services in terms of quality, efficiency, and equity. It is imperative to consider the country’s previous and current gaps and challenges in accreditation and adopt the best practices of other countries, as appropriate to Philippine's local settings. A tool is proposed in creating a national hospital accreditation system using the domains of leadership and governance, financing and sustainability, standards development, program management, and continuing quality improvement.

Conclusion and Recommendations. With the legitimacy of third party accreditation body mandated by the UHC Act, operationalization of the prescribed mechanisms and organizational structure must enjoin all pertinent stakeholders and be supported by sustainable funds and technical assistance by the government.


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