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Legarda Seeks to Set Higher Standards for Country’s Health Facilities

September 1, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda has filed a bill (Senate Bill No. 411) that seeks to strengthen the regulation of the country’s health facilities and services to ensure the quality, safety, accessibility and affordability of health services, especially for the poor.

“We have to ensure that each and every Filipino gets quality and adequate healthcare services. Through this measure, we aim to upgrade health facilities and infrastructure to keep up with technological advancements and cope with the challenges of globalization, through a strengthened regulatory process,” Legarda stressed.

The Senator noted that over the years, the country saw the emergence of new types of health care facilities such as diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative centers that no longer qualify under the regulatory mandate of the Department of Health (DOH).

“With the regulation of the entire industry, there shall be fewer opportunities for circumvention and tighter control of health costs. Through this bill, the quality of health facilities and services shall improve as well as the competitiveness, efficiency and productivity of the industry,” Legarda said.

Under said measure, the DOH’s Bureau of Health Facilities and Services (BHFS) will be authorized to establish and prescribe rules and standards in all cases related to the issued certificate of license of health facilities, inspection and monitor facilities and services, implement a classification system, approve building plans and construction design, provide, advise, and conduct administrative hearings and impose penalties.

The bill also provides that the DOH, in coordination with other health regulatory offices, must implement a quality seals system for health facilities through the adoption of quality standards that would enable international competitiveness; enhancement of all necessary regulatory infrastructure; and development of necessary requirements such as sets of criteria, incentive packages, and advocacy scheme.

“There is a lack of government control on the costs of health services being provided by the private health sector. This leads to escalating costs of health services, which erodes value of social health insurance in providing financial risk protection to the population. This measure will bring about improved mandate and available financial resources towards efficient and effective health regulation,” said Legarda.