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Marcos OKs coordinating council for universal health care implementation

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has approved the proposal to establish a coordinating council that will oversee the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act in the country, the chief of the health department said Tuesday. 

Department of Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said that the UHC coordinating council aims to address the fragmentation of the country’s health system.

“The council will serve as a national governance body that will oversee the implementation of Universal Health Care Act nationwide, the project and estimate total national cost for UHC and also implementation of the Universal Health Care at local government level,” Herbosa said during a Palace briefing. 

“We’ll standardize health policies… It will serve as the venue to discuss relevant concerns that might be raised during the implementation of the UHC,” he added.

The DOH will serve as the chair of the coordinating council, with the Department of the Interior and Local Government as the co-chair. 

The information and technology, budget and management, finance and education departments as well as the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Professional Regulation Commission, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Commission on Higher Education will also be part of the council. 

The Universal Health Care Act, which was signed in 2019, was seen as a measure to expand the access of quality and affordable health services to Filipinos. — Gaea Katreena Cabico