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MediCard driven to deliver quality healthcare

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
08:38 AM May 25, 2019

The Philippines, admittedly, has a long way to go before it can lay claim to having universal healthcare coverage. This is not to say, however, that nothing is being done at this front.

In fact, both the government and the private sector have gone at great lengths to pursue universal healthcare. For instance, in February this year, President Duterte signed the Universal Health Care Bill into law. Republic Act No. 11223 automatically enrolls all Filipino citizens in the National Health Insurance Program and prescribes complementary reforms in the health system. This, more importantly, gives citizens access to
the full continuum of health services they need, while protecting them from enduring financial hardship as a result, according to a statement from the World Health Organization.

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While Filipinos have yet to reap the full benefits of the said law, this was seen by some quarters to be the right step towards achieving the goal for universal healthcare.

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Private health maintenance organizations (HMOs), like MediCard Philippines Inc., meanwhile are also doing their fair share to help make healthcare more accessible to a broader segment of the population.

In line with its thrust to provide a comprehensive health care program for Filipinos, MediCard has been expanding its portfolio of satellite clinics across the country, as well as its lineup of quality and
affordable outpatient medical services.

MediCard president Dr. Nicanor S. Montoya noted that only a marginal portion of the population is enrolled under an HMO. Based on his estimates, roughly 90 percent of the population is either not enrolled or do not have access to HMOs. While, Philhealth, the state-run health insurance provider, covers more than 80 percent, the
amount of financial assistance that it extends is fairly limited.

This is why MediCard is pulling out all stops to ensure that it is highly accessible to more Filipinos. Apart from expanding its footprint across the country, MediCard strives to make its clinics and
services easier to reach and use. It also offers affordable packages that cater to a range of budgets.

“For our members, we want to make the process much easier for them, particularly in terms of availing services. When you have a card from MediCard, you should be able to know how to use it, you won’t be
scared to ask and approach the doctors, and you won’t have to hold back thinking that these services are expensive. We want our cardholders to feel more at ease in taking better care of their
health,” Dr. Montoya said.

“We want to dispel the notion that health and wellness are only for the rich. We want to make things simple and doable, even wellness,” he further noted.

Currently, MediCard Philippines is accredited in over 1,000 hospitals nationwide. It also has 15 free-standing clinics and nine satellite (hospital-based) clinics.

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“Our goal is to build clinics in areas where we have high concentration of corporate clients, members, and prospective members, such that they can access quality and affordable outpatient medical
services near their offices or their residences,” Dr. Montoya added.

MediCard is also doing an information awareness campaign to help raise awareness on the benefits of being enrolled in an HMO like MediCard.

“We’re trying to reach more Filipinos through as many avenues as possible. We have videos and short stories, articles in both the traditional digital platforms. We also actively participate in events
and we hold health fairs as well,” he added.

“Definitely, our role is geared towards healthcare. We will keep finding ways to make it (healthcare) more affordable and accessible and to make it easy for more Filipinos to avail of healthcare, that
they will not be afraid to go inside a hospital and avail of services that will help keep them in tiptop shape,” Dr. Montoya added.

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