DOH Showcased “Malasakit at Aksyon” in the 1st face to face Policy Dialogue Since 2019

After three long years and five virtual policy dialogues, the Department of Health (DOH), its partner agencies and offices and the patient support groups and civil society organizations finally convened again face to face during the 16th Policy Dialogue on Universal Healthcare and Access to Medicines held on June 9, 2022 at Cocoon Boutique Hotel, Quezon City.

Director Anna Melissa Guerrero welcomed the participants and expressed her appreciation for their proactive participation in the dialogue even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Let this event be a symbol of hope and a celebration of new beginnings as we are coming closer to the endemic phase of COVID-19 where we could better live and cope with the virus,” Director Guerrero said.

With the theme “Malasakit at Aksyon, sa Kalusugan ay Tutugon,” the forum showcased the government’s Malasakit Program which features the financial assistance services offered by the DOH and its partner agencies and offices to support indigent and financially incapacitated Filipino patients.

The forum likewise highlighted the efforts of the Health Department to develop a more coordinated patient navigation and referral system and to modernize health infrastructures and facilities towards the goal of improving the overall health system of the Philippines.

Director Girlie Veloso from Malasakit Program Office and representatives from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, National Patient Navigation and Referral Center, and Health Facilities Enhancement Program Management Office were invited to serve as resource speakers in the forum.

In the open forum, the patient groups actively participated in asking relevant and important questions to the panel of presenters regarding the topics discussed and how they can better access the health services provided by the national government. The open forum is considered as the most important part of the event as it is the venue where patient groups and CSOs can raise important concerns to the government on the accessibility of health services on the ground.

Atty. Charade Mercado-Grande, Undersecretary of Health Regulation Team, concluded the forum by assuring the patients and the public that the DOH will relentlessly improve its programs and develop new ones that will further enhance access to medicines and health services for all Filipinos.

“May all our learnings and experiences brought about by this policy dialogue give us aspirations to stand up and contribute to the ultimate goal of attaining a healthy Pilipinas na ang gamot at serbisyong pangkalusugan ay abot-kaya at abot-kamay ng lahat. Sama-sama tayong umaksyon, para sa kalusugan ng ating nasyon,” Usec Grande stated.

More than a hundred participants from different patient support groups and CSOs representing different diseases and conditions were present in the policy dialogue while the forum was also shown in a Facebook Live coverage of the DOH.

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June 2022

Philippine Standard time

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