SKEI Nursing College Professor, Reynald Ecija did the class demonstration while PhilHealth officers and personnel headed by its Acting President and Chief Operating Officer, Ramon F. Aristoza, Jr.; Corporate Affairs Group OIC Vice President, Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas and Social Health Insurance Senior Manager, Arsenia B. Torres and staff did the observation and critiquing.
This is an offshoot of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing made between the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) and said institution in April last year.
Former PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer, Alexander Padilla said during the MOA that its goal is for the students to learn how social health insurance upholds the values of health care protection and social solidarity.
“… we want midwifery students to uphold the highest standard of quality health care as they make child birth possible in non-hospital facilities. We want our future midwives help our country achieve the millennium development goal of bringing down maternal and child mortality through best practices in child birth and through Philhealth’s accredited health care facilities,” PCEO Padilla stressed.
This also intends to empower nursing students in cascading the importance of being a Philhealth member especially to the community where they will be immersed so as to enable their patients have an access to the widest range of health care benefits available to them.
As published previously, SKEI School Director, Dr. Dante T. Eugenio was initially pessimistic about the idea because according to him “why in Mindanao that is scarred by conflicts and violence; where gunfights, bombing, kidnapping and massacre is a way of life; where guns and food are equal and where health insurance is treated a commodity and exchanged as a currency?”
With the rationale stated in the agreement, he was convinced that by integrating social health insurance program to the students’ curriculum, the students will be equipped with health and life changing knowledge.
In his response to the former PCEOs message, he answered his own question that “in the midst of conflict burdened by poverty and controversies, it is here in the heart of Mindanao where this project is most needed. It is here where it will matter most and will touch and save more lives.”
During the critiquing session, Torres emphasized the relevance of introducing well the project to the community in order for the recipients to see the importance of having PhilHealth not only in times of emergency.
Pargas has also stressed that PhilHealth should be included among the priorities to be settled monthly considering the health care cost to be borne by families in times of emergency needs.
In response, nursing students have come to realize that PhilHealth is indeed not just a subject matter to be taught and learned but a reality to be integrated in every human life since health care need is as essential as sustaining survival in the area.
To reiterate, acting PCEO and COO Aristoza said that history in the field of the Social Health Insurance in the aspect of education has indeed happened in his own home grown province, Sultan Kudarat.
“This is something that we are looking forward to happen in PhilHealth. This is the primary objective of the Social Health Insurance Academy. Make PhilHealth a part of every Filipino life,” he concluded. (hanah g. naanep, PRO III)