Philippine Hospital Association

Secretary of Health and Philippine Hospital Association Board Engaged in Productive Dialogue

Collaborative Efforts Towards Addressing Regulatory Challenges and Enhancing Healthcare Standards

Manila July 20, 2023 - In a significant step towards fostering collaboration and addressing regulatory challenges faced by hospitals, the newly appointed Secretary of Health, Dr. Teodoro Herbosa, held a constructive dialogue with the esteemed Board of Directors of the Philippine Hospital Association (PHA) led by its President, Dr. Edmundo Lopez. The meeting,  organized with the initiative of the PHA, was mainly intended as a meet-and-greet  between the leaders of the hospital operators of the country  and the top man of the Philippine government in healthcare policy and and their implementation. The event gave PHA created an opportunity to engage the Secretary in dialogue as regard some of the many issue among its hospital members when dealing with DOH and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC).

The dialogue, held at the Champagne Salon of Manila Hotel, likewise provided an opportunity for the Secretary of Health to present and discuss his comprehensive 8-point Agenda, where he enumerated them one by one in Tagalog:

 1) Lahat ramdam ang kalusugan.

2) Ligtas, dekalidad at makapagkalingang serbisyo.

3) Teknolohiya para sa mabilis na serbisyo pangkalusugan.

4) Handa sa krisis.

5) Pag-iwas sa sakit.

6) Ginhawa ng isip at damdamin.

7) Kapakanan at karapatan ng mga health worker.

8) Proteksyon sa anumang pandemya.

During the engaging discussion, members of the PHA Board expressed their concerns and shared their experiences regarding the challenges faced by hospitals when navigating regulatory frameworks. They highlighted the need for clearer guidelines, simplified processes, and more transparent communication with regulatory bodies.

The Secretary of Health, known for his commitment to effective governance, attentively listened to the concerns raised by the PHA Board members. Acknowledging the significance of their insights, he emphasized that his governance would be guided by his belief in “Makatao” approach with the hope that the best interest of the communities they jointly serve will best be attained . He further stressed the importance of a collaborative approach in addressing the many challenges in healthcare.  Continuous dialogue between regulators and healthcare providers always produce positive results and help ensure that policies are practical, fair, and aligned with the best interests of both patients and hospitals.

Recognizing the valuable expertise and experience of the PHA Board, the Secretary of Health sought their input in finding pragmatic solutions. The dialogue provided a platform for an open exchange of ideas and perspectives.

The Secretary of Health expressed his commitment to addressing the difficulties encountered by hospital members. He assured the PHA Board that their concerns would be taken into consideration as regulatory frameworks are reviewed and updated. The Secretary emphasized the importance of collaboration with stakeholders, including the PHA, in shaping policies that promote a conducive environment for hospitals to deliver high-quality healthcare services.

The dialogue concluded with a sense of optimism and renewed determination to work together towards overcoming regulatory challenges. The PHA Board members appreciated the Secretary's receptiveness and willingness to engage in meaningful discussions. They expressed their confidence in the Secretary's leadership and his ability to bring about positive change in the healthcare sector.

Moving forward, it is expected that the dialogue between the Secretary of Health and the PHA Board will result in concrete actions to address the difficulties faced by hospital members when dealing with regulators. The insights gained from this productive discussion will inform the Secretary's decision-making process, leading to regulatory reforms that prioritize efficiency, transparency, and the overall improvement of healthcare standards.

Other directors and officers present were Dr. Jose Santiago of St. James Hospital, Inc., Dr. Conrado Brana of South Cotabato Provincial Hospital, Dr. Huberto Lapuz of Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, Dr. Ma. Lourdes Otayza of Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, Lauren Tirol of Ramiro Community Hospital, Dr. Laurence Elliot Tirol of the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital, Atty. Dr. Bu Castro of Bernardino General Hospital II, Dr. Jesus Jardin of the Capitol University Medical Center Foundation of Cagayan, Inc., Dr. Jaime Almora of the Almora General Hospital, and Dr. Digna Ragasa of the Metro Vigan Hospital.

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