Marcos orders PhilHealth to prioritize digitization to improve operations

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. wants the new leadership of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to prioritize the digitization initiatives of the agency to boost the efficiency of its operations. 

Marcos made the remark during his meeting with the health cluster of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) last Thursday.

“In the meeting, the President tasked the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to check ‘best practices’ and include digitization initiatives for improving health insurance operations and offering health benefits,” the Offices of the Press Secretary (OPS) said in a statement. 

Marcos has just appointed Emmanuel Rufino Ledesma Jr. as the acting president and chief executive officer (CEO) of PhilHealth. 

Ledesma, who was a former head of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), succeeded former PhilHealth OIC, Eli Dino Santos, 

He took his oath of office before Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin in Malacañang last Thursday.

Private sector participation

Aside from reforms for PhilHealth, Marcos is also pushing for more public private partnerships (PPP) to help address the gaps in the health sector. 

“Strengthening public-private partnerships coupled with strong third-party assessments, the President said, will address efficiency concerns in dealing with the health needs of Filipinos,” the OPS said. 

Also discussed during the meeting are measures to help address the local shortage for medical workers, particularly nurses. 

Marcos reiterated his proposed “ladderized” program, wherein aspiring nurses can first take a two-year scholarship to become midwives. 

After getting experience they can take another two-year course to become full fledged nurses. 

For her part, Department of Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said they are eyeing to boost the number of healthcare workers by securing more  “bilateral partners,” which will provide scholarships for aspiring medical students and professionals.