The Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Care Program may finance the 50 percent increase in payment contributions that aims not to prevent a disruption of the delivery of basic health services to Negrenses.
This is in anticipation of the withdrawal of the national government subsidy of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation premiums to local government units, Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) said yesterday.
Benitez said PhilHealth will increase the premium contributions of its members from P600 to P1,200 starting next year, and elicited complaints from local governments, which may no longer be able to subsidize the program at their level.
He, however, said that instead of paying premium contributions to PhilHealth of P600, they will directly pay it to NOCHP and got the same coverage of health services.
Under the scheme, Benitez said “We may have a local PhilHealth by the name of NOCHP.”
By increasing payment of the premiums, Benitez said PhilHealth claims it will also mean an increase in services.
Benitez said he was wants the increase to be held in abeyance, despite an increase in services. “I think the question is not the amount of services to be received by members, but its affordability to ordinary people”, he added.
NOCHP records show that there are now 23,615 families in the third district, composed of Murcia, EB Magalona, the cities of Talisay, Silay and Victorias that are now enrolled under the Comprehensive Health Care Program.
Benitez said his target is to enroll 45,000 family- beneficiaries by 2013, who will directly go to government hospitals, as NOCHP card holders.
He described the NOCHP, which is part of the Negros First Agenda of Gov. Alfredo Marañon, as an innovative scheme to remove practices of political patronage among Filipinos.
Through NOCHP, Benitez said he hopes that soon sick people will no longer go to politicians for medical help, or troop to medical outreach program sites, to avail of free treatment or medicines, in exchange for their support during the election period.
The amount of P10 million is allocated by Benitez every year to NOCHP, with a similar amount provided by the Negros Occidental provincial government.
The medical outreach program, which Benitez hopes to end as soon as the targeted 45,000 beneficiaries is achieved next year, will have their NOCHP cards.
The activity was preceded by a fun run in EB Magalona, sponsored by the Sangguniang Kabataan Provincial Federation headed by Board Member Thea Mae Duran-Dino.*GPB