Last week at Makati Shanhri-La, public and private leaders and experts collaborate to help address the Philippines’ health targets, namely, full implementation of the reproductive health law, insurance coverage for all Filipinos, and healthcare at lower costs to be prioritized and innovative healthcare delivery model and technologies introduced to help achieve affordable and sustainable healthcare for low-income market segment, via GE Philippines Media Roundtable Session.
Closer collaboration across all sectors is necessary if the Duterte administration hopes to provide Filipinos with wider access to healthcare. This is according to healthcare industry leaders and other experts who have identified opportunities and challenges facing the administration’s health agenda, which Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial unveiled at the National Health Summit last September.
Among the government priorities laid out by the health chief include the full implementation of the reproductive health law, insurance coverage for all Filipinos, and healthcare at lower costs.
“By ensuring accessible and quality healthcare for everyone, the government is making investments that can build and sustain economic prosperity in the country,” said Ivan Alexi Arota, Philippine Country Manager of GE Healthcare, which is among the business units of the global digital industrial giant, General Electric, committed to sustainable healthcare solutions. “Over the years, we have made significant advances in improving our country’s healthcare system, but a lot of work still lies ahead. If both the public and private sectors work together, we can close more healthcare gaps by 2022,” Arota added
Affordable and quality healthcare for all
The administration’s healthcare policies take cue from the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. SDG Goal 3 specifically focuses on reproductive, maternal, and child health as well as communicable, non-communicable, and environmental diseases—all recognized by the DOH as concerns the government must address. The DOH also highlighted the need to build a functional network of health facilities that can easily respond to people’s needs. According to Arota, innovative business models, financing, and multi-lateral partnerships can ensure the long-term sustainability of quality and accessible healthcare.
One such model is Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc.’s FamilyDOC , a chain of community-based primary care clinics targeted to the growing middle class. The model is a 3-in-1 concept that combines the services of an outpatient clinic, a diagnostic facility, and a pharmacy, all under one roof.
“An effective way to enhance health system responsiveness is to make quality healthcare services available in communities,” said Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc.’s Medical Director Michael Santos, MD. “We believe FamilyDOC can complement government services by offering affordable primary care. Through our clinics, Ayala Health aims to close the gaps of access and affordability in health,” Santos added.
Role of healthcare technology
Investing in advanced technology is also critical in improving diagnoses and clinical outcomes in maternal and child care, as well as in non-communicable diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
For instance, FamilyDOC keeps patient data safe, secure, and accessible in all branches through an Electronic Medical Record system.
“Advanced medical technology is necessary in building a more efficient and responsive healthcare system, but it is often costly. We need healthcare solutions that are affordable but do not sacrifice quality and performance,” Arota said.
Arota cited GE Healthcare’s collaboration with health ministries in South Asia, Africa, and Southeast Asia to reach underserved populations.
Nine medical machines developed by GE also made it to the World Health Organization Compendium for Innovative Technologies for Low Income Settings. Included in the list is the Vscan portable ultrasound which was introduced to the Philippines early this year.
By combining innovative delivery models with advanced technologies, the Philippine healthcare system will get closer to getting its much needed revamp.
GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com
About Ayala Health:
Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (Ayala Health) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ayala Corporation. Ayala Health is positioned to be a portfolio of healthcare services, currently comprising retail pharmacy (Generika) and primary care facilities (FamilyDOC). Generika is the pioneer in affordable generic medicines, and is the third largest pharmacy chain in the country, with over 650 stores nationwide. On the other hand, FamilyDOC is a chain of primary care clinics, with six (6) branches located in Southern Greater Manila (Las Piñas and Cavite). Beginning with Generika and FamilyDOC, Ayala Health aims to build an ecosystem that makes healthcare more accessible and affordable to Filipino families. www.ayalahealth.ph