• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The provincial government of Negros Occidental is fast tracking preparations for the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act 2019, that aims to provide all Filipinos equitable access to quality and affordable health care goods and services.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, who yesterday attended the Provincial Health Board meeting at the Negros Residences in Bacolod City, said that the provincial government is now in Phase 2 of preparations, which is supposed to be completed by the end of the year.
So far, we accomplished 25 percent. So, I told them to focus in the remaining 75 percent, until the year ends, Lacson said.
If we do our assignment, UHC will be functional in Negros Occidental, as targeted, in 2025, the governor said.
The UHC Act of 2019 will be fully implemented in the next three years as the law stipulates, according to Department of Health, noting that its framework was designed to be realized “progressively” within six years.
DOH also underscored that the UHC law has many components, so it cannot be implemented at once.
Asked why it takes so long to implement in Negros Occidental, Lacson said “you put everybody in, not only in the province, but also local government units. They have to be ready also, being able to manage the funds.”
Lacson said that both the provincial government and local government units will have to hire personnel, as required by the law, which will make it difficult, especially for LGUs that do not have much budget.*