Government’s Bold Step Towards Strengthening Healthcare Infrastructure
In a significant move to bolster the country’s healthcare infrastructure, Malacañang issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 26 on Tuesday, formally adopting the Philippine Health Facility Development Plan (PHFDP) 2020-2040. The circular, authorized by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and issued by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, directs all government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to actively participate in the initiative by establishing health facilities to serve their constituents.
Embracing the PHFDP 2020-2040
The circular explicitly endorses the PHFDP 2020-2040, which is attached as an annex to the document, making it an integral part of the government’s healthcare strategy. It compels all concerned national government agencies, including government-owned or controlled corporations, to take proactive measures in support of the PHFDP’s implementation, while strongly encouraging LGUs to follow suit and contribute to its success.
Empowering the Department of Health
The Department of Health (DOH) is at the forefront of this transformative effort.
The circular instructs the DOH to collaborate with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and ensure effective communication of the PHFDP’s objectives at the local level. Furthermore, the DOH has the responsibility to assist and support LGUs in formulating their long-term local health facility development plans, with a focus on establishing primary care provider networks and health care provider networks.
Pursuing Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)
To address any gaps in the PHFDP’s implementation, the circular encourages LGUs to explore public-private partnerships (PPPs). By engaging with the PPP Center, LGUs can leverage private sector expertise and resources to enhance the effectiveness of the development plan for local health facilities.
Guidelines for Successful Implementation
The DOH is charged with the responsibility of crafting comprehensive guidelines to ensure the smooth execution of the circular’s directives. This process may involve seeking assistance from relevant government agencies and offices to ensure a well-rounded and inclusive approach.
Fostering Private Sector Investment
In a bid to attract private sector investment in the healthcare sector, the circular mandates the DOH, in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry-Board of Investments and the Fiscal Incentives Review Board, to formulate and implement policies that encourage both domestic and international enterprises to invest in health facilities.
Such investments aim to bridge gaps in the PHFDP and fortify the nation’s healthcare infrastructure.
Funding and the Universal Health Care Act
Crucially, the respective agencies and LGUs will finance the implementation of the circular using their existing appropriations.
This ensures that the government’s commitment to the Universal Health Care Act of 2019, Republic Act (RA) No. 11223, remains unwavering. RA No. 11223 emphasizes a comprehensive, people-oriented approach to the delivery of health services, fostering a whole-of-system, whole-of-government, whole-of-society framework.
The PHFDP in National Development Plans
The PHFDP aligns with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, specifically focusing on promoting human and social development. By establishing an accessible, efficient, and strengthened healthcare system, the plan aims to ensure that every Filipino has access to a robust primary care and integrated health system.
The Philippine Health Facility Development Plan sets the stage for a more equitable, accessible, and efficient healthcare system in the country. Moreover, by fostering cooperation and emphasizing a people-centered approach, the Philippines aims to create a healthier and more resilient nation, where every citizen can thrive with the assurance of quality health services.
As the journey has begun, the future looks promising as the nation moves towards realizing its vision of a stronger and more integrated healthcare system for all. With determination and collective effort, this transformative path holds the potential to shape the future of health and well-being in the Philippines, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of millions.