House panel approves measures establishing PH eHealth system

The technical working group (TWG) of the House Committee on Health recently convened to consolidate several measures for the establishment of the Philippine eHealth System and Services.

The TWG, headed by committee vice chair Maricel Natividad-Nagaño, approved the proposals to establish various eHealth systems in the country. “The basic policies of these bills are the same, which is to utilize technology infrastructure to ensure better delivery of medical services to all Filipinos,” she said.

Natividad-Nagaño stressed that the TWG meeting’s primary focus was to harmonize provisions of the bills with the recently signed implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11223, or the “Universal Health Care (UHC) Act.”

During the meeting, John Ulysses Galo of the Knowledge Management and Information Technology Service (KMITS) of the Department of Health allayed concerns that the measures on eHealth and Health Passport have been rendered redundant by the IRR of RA 11223.

“There might be some provisions indicated in the recently signed UHC IRR. But we believe there are other major provisions that need to be taken in a separate bill,” he said.

Galo added this specifically includes governance and accountability mechanisms that direct and regulate the practice of eHealth and the various technologies under it, the transformation of the DOH-KMITS into a bureau, and ensuring the continuous investments and financing of eHealth initiatives across the country.

The TWG of the Committee on Health said it will continue working during the congressional recess to consolidate the several bills filed. The approved bill will then be presented to Committee on Health chair Angelina Tan when session resumes month.

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