News article from by Macon Ramons-Araneta

A current issue that PhilHealth faces is the widening gap of health care delivery systems in rural areas such as lack of nurses, doctors and rural health center facilities. Adding to the pressure is the phasing out of all charity wards in the country. These charity wards provide low cost hospitalization services to the poor in both rural and urban locations. The government plans to commence the full establishment of PhilHealth centers by next year, which would provide the poor free hospitalization, medicines and laboratory costs. However, even though the transition would provide free medical services for the poor, many poor families are still unaware of the benefits offered by PhilHealth and the aim of the current administration’s Universal Health Care.

The establishment of the PhilHealth centers will benefit the poor in the future but they must be able to properly monitor the existing health centers--distribution of doctors, nurses and medical staffs. PhilHealth must also ensure that the poor will be properly oriented so that they may be aware of the different benefits that they can avail. Though this new development will have positive impacts on the poor, it may still lead to the same problem of the widening of gaps especially in the rural areas because there is no guarantee that PhilHealth’s plan will be sustainable in the future since it is not enough to just establish centers considering the lack of medical staff.  

Moreover, partly the reason why their plan may not be sustainable due to small allocation of money is because the market for insurances will only concentrate to the country’s middle class since they have the capability to pay for their pensions/insurances/annuities premiums for their future. However, the poor cannot afford to pay the premiums of insurance companies (PhilHealth and private companies) for their health concerns, which is why they become largely dependent on government assistance.

Aguila, Philip
Bufi, Pamela
Dimaano, Lorylie
Roces, Lannie

7/21/2012 05:13:16 am

I do believe that this area focuses more on health insurance rather than annuities, which is a separate dimension of insurance in itself. There are more recent news about annuities such as the POC's plan to have pension plans for athletes (funny that the need only arises in light of the 2012 Olympics!) that might be a good read for your topic?

Some suggestions for the commentary:
1. It's better to focus on one context for your commentary. For example, in paragraph 1, it becomes confusing when you introduce the concept charity wards, which is separate from the context of Philhealth being useless in rural areas; not unless what you wanted to explain is the possibility of converting the charity wards into 'PhilHealth wards.' If so, further clarification must be made to your sentences.

What we want to avoid here is too many ideas per topic. All may be deemed important, but it is a discipline to filter our ideas as necessary to the context we are trying to talk about.

2. Give your commentary more credibility by adding data or theory to statements you are making.
Example: "The establishment of the PhilHealth centers will benefit the poor in the future" -- While establishment of much needed infrastructure will most likely benefit its stakeholders, it would be best to explain why. Data like the percentage of the poor who are currently registered in PhilHealth may help, but if you can't find any data (assuming that you have tried your very best! haha), then explain it through simple theory (e.g. the establishment of Philhealth centers in rural areas may lessen transaction costs, etc).

Adding data or theory to your commentary is also a practice that can help you avoid possible erroneous statements.

3.Make clear of the ideas you are establishing per paragraph.

Thanks! Looking forward to your next articles.


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