GENERAL SANTOS CITY, (PNA) -– The Department of Health (DOH) in Region 12 is pushing for the enrollment before yearend of all barangay health workers (BHWs) in the region into the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
Dr. Teogenes Baluma, DOH Region 12 director, said Friday they are currently working with various local government units in the area for the provision of health insurance coverage or PhilHealth membership to their BHWs.
Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
“It’s important for all our BHWs to have their own health insurance coverage so we’re working on it,” he said.
He noted that BHWs deserve such benefit, being reliable partners of the government in the delivery of health services to the people, especially in the far-flung areas.
PhilHealth mainly provides universal health coverage to residents through a membership scheme.
Baluma said while the government prioritizes the enrollment of poor households into PhilHealth, such benefit should also be extended to the BHWs.
“Malaking bagay kung lahat ng BHWs ay may Philhealth membership kaya gusto talaga natin na mangyayari ito dahil sila yung gumamagawa rin ng paraan para mas magiging epektibo ang mga programa ng DOH,” he said at the conclusion of the two-day Region 12 BHW Congress held in Alabel town in Sarangani Province.
For their part, Sarangani Governor Steve Chiongbian-Solon said the provincial government is very much committed to provide whatever support needed by the BHWs in the province.
He said the local government is presently upgrading various health facilities to ensure that government health programs will find their way to the barangays, particularly in the remote areas.
A total of 3,185 BHWs from the region’s five cities and four provinces joined the congress, which was hosted by Sarangani Province for the first time.
The regional congress focused on the theme: “BHW: Serbisyong Dekalidad Para sa Kalusugan ng Pamilyang Pilipino.”