“Posible at kayang-kaya na ma-attain nating lahat ang kalusugang pangkalahatan, which is Universal Health Care, at dito po sa Province of Bataan ay pinapakita ninyong lahat na kayang-kaya basta’t sama-sama,” Department of Health OIC-Secretary Dr. Maria Rosario S. Vergeire said in her keynote speech during the Bataan Health Summit 2023 held on March 8, at the Bataan People’s Center.
Vergeire recognized the present accomplishments of Bataan in terms of health care, which makes the province a role model on how UHC Law should be implemented at the local government level.
Made possible by the Provincial Government of Bataan through its Provincial Health Office led by Dr. Rosanna Buccahan, this year’s summit revolved around the theme Bridging People Through Universal Health Care in Building a Healthier Bataan.
Governor Joet Garcia gave an overview of the Province’s strategic direction and updates on UHC Law.
He also shared the Province’s current health programs such as the Tobacco-Free Generation movement, Healthy School Settings, Hataw Takbo Bataan, and the 1Bataan Seal of Healthy Barangay.
He also stressed the importance of commitment and participation of all municipalities and partners, the synchronization and alignment of priorities, programs, and services, as well as the health-seeking behavior of the Bataeños, in achieving and providing more accessible health care services.
WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Graham Harrison, PhilHealth VP for NCR and Luzon Operations Mr. Walter Bacareza, and 1st District Board Member Atty. Antonino Roman in lieu of the representatives of the three districts of Bataan and Pusong Pinoy Partylist gave their messages of support towards the goal. Representatives from DOH Central Luzon Center for Health Development, PhilHealth, USAID ProtectHealth, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), League of Municipalities in the Philippines – Bataan Chapter, and Data Center Inc. (DCI) – DBP E-MED committed in providing assistance to the Province in the successful implementation of the UHC Law.
Other discussions included the Bataan Health Situationer LGU Scorecard, Streamlining TB Response, and MR-OPV-SIA Activity, and a Q&A session.
To cap off this year’s Health Summit, the signing of the Inter-LGU Memorandum of Agreement for UHC Law Implementation by Gov. Joet and all mayors and the signing of commitment by all stakeholders were conducted.
Also present during the event were Undersecretary for FICT-North Luzon Enrique A. Tayag, DOH CLCHD Director IV Dr. Corazon I. Flores, Vice Governor Cris Garcia together with the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Bataan, health workers from the lone city and 11 municipalities of Bataan, members of the Provincial Health Board, representatives from district hospitals, DOH retained hospitals, private hospitals, and external partners, and barangay officials together with their barangay health workers.