PAPO announces new Board, vows to work for patient welfare | Inquirer Business

PAPO announces new Board, vows to work for patient welfare

/ 04:31 PM June 10, 2022

The Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO), the umbrella organization of patient groups representing 1 million patients announced their new Board with the election of Karen Alparce-Villanueva as its new president. The other Board Members include Chris Munoz as vice president, Ara Lanorio as secretary, Cynthia Magdaraog as treasurer and trustees Einstein Rojas, Nelia Medina and Mel Lamsin. Girlie Garcia-Lorenzo, PAPO past president and Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, past trustee will continue to remain as advisers.

PAPO healthcare

PAPO works with communities of patients and other key stakeholders in health to get our voices heard by all involved in healthcare and the group advocates for patient-centered healthcare. A patient-centered health system is one where the infrastructure is designed and delivered so that it can answer the needs of patients. For instance, patients need to be able to easily navigate the health system in addition to helping reduce out of pocket expenses.

In 2019, two significant pieces of legislation were passed signaling the start of the much needed transformation of our healthcare system. The Universal Health Care (UHC) law was envisioned to guarantee equitable access to quality and affordable health care services for all Filipinos. The National Integrated Cancer Control Act (NICCA) meanwhile sought to address the growing burden of cancer which is now the #2 killer of Filipinos. To date, the implementing rules and regulations of both laws have been crafted but implementation has been slow and with Covid-19, the provision of free medical consultations and laboratory tests for the entire population has been delayed.


PAPO has 3 focus areas namely Patient Rights, Patient Participation in Policy-Making and Universal Health Care.

Patient Rights – Patients have a right and responsibility to participate, to their level of ability and preference, as a partner in making healthcare decisions that affect their lives. This requires a responsive health service which provides suitable choices in treatment and management options that fit in with patients’ needs, and encouragement and support for patients and carers that direct and manage care to achieve the best possible quality of life. Patients’ organizations must be empowered to play meaningful leadership roles in supporting patients and their families to exercise their right to make informed healthcare choices.

Patient participation in health policy – Patients and patients’ organizations deserve to share the responsibility of healthcare policy-making through meaningful and supported engagement in all levels and at all points of decision-making, to ensure that they are designed with the patient at the center. This should not be restricted to healthcare policy but include, for example, social policy that will ultimately impact on patients’ lives.

Universal Health Care – Patients must have access to the healthcare services warranted by their condition. This includes access to safe, quality and appropriate services, treatments, preventive care and health promotion activities. Provision should be made to ensure that all patients can access necessary services, regardless of their condition or socio-economic status. For patients to achieve the best possible quality of life, healthcare must support patients’ emotional requirements, and consider non-health factors such as education, employment and family issues which impact on their approach to healthcare choices and management.

PAPO will continue with work with other civil society organizations, the government and the private sector to continue to work for the welfare of patients.


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