By Lyka Mae P. Chiang
The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) recently held a two-day training for the members of the Speakers’ Bureau of the Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO) to help with the dissemination of the new information regarding the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) among stakeholders from various groups.Representatives from 21 PAPO’s patient organizations underwent orientation to help them prepare in cascading accurate information about PhilHealth to its members. The Speakers’ Bureau is assigned to disseminate basic information on how PhilHealth works including the registration process, premium contribution, benefits and its availment, among others. By learning the right information, the participants are expected to be reliable enough to guide the members and beneficiaries of their organizations in availing the service offered by PhilHealth.
The training had six sessions. The first four sessions focused on the general information about Philhealth such as its history, membership, benefits, communicating the NHIP, and the role of PAPO and the Speakers’ Bureau. The last two sessions prepared the patient organizations in planning their training procedures and spreading lessons to their members. They were also asked to present their lecture approaches, while the PhilHealth resource persons made comments and suggestions on how they could improve their presentations.
The patient organizations that participated in the training are Cerebral Palsy Association of the Philippines (CPAP), I Can Serve, Philippine Children’s Association of Learning Disability (PCALD), Kythe Foundation Inc., Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders, Psoriasis Philippines, New Vois, Dialysis PH, Health Care Ministry Kapitolyo, Yellow Warriors Society Philippines, Positive Action Foundation Philippines (PAFPI) Org, Philippine Cerebral Palsy Inc. (PCPI), Philippine Association for Citizens with Developmental and Learning Disabilities Inc. (PACDLD), PhiThyCas, The Max Foundation, Balikatang Thalassemia, Scheloderma Philippines, Hemophilia Association of the Philippines for Love and Service (HAPLOS), Diabetes Society of Camp Crame, People Empowerment for Arthritis and Lupus (PEARL), and St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) Arthritis Club.Some concerns raised during the orientation were the limited amount of hospitals that provided Z benefits for fatal diseases, such as cervical cancer, tetralogy of fallot, and ventricular septal defect; handling critical questions asked by members; alleged improper bill charges from some hospitals; and the reported refusal of some hospitals to entertain patients who were diagnosed from other institutions.
The Speakers’ Bureau training is provided for under a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between PhilHealth and PAPO which was signed during the PhilHealth Forward event in February. The MoA stated that PhilHealth must conduct a Social Health Insurance Education Series (SHInES) for PAPO members, in order to help them gain knowledge on the NHIP. In return, PAPO will be responsible for the information campaign of PhilHealth by reaching out to their organizations’ stakeholders. The PAPOPhilHealth Advocates are now trained as members of the Speakers’ Bureau.