Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial today opens the lines of institutional communication of the government health sector with patient groups and civil societies based in Mindanao.

The 4th Policy Dialogue on Universal Health Care and Access to Medicines in Davao City is part of the continuing efforts of the Department of Health to listen to the concerns of patients, as well as to create and strengthen enabling partnerships with patient groups and civil society toward increasing access to health care services and medicines. This mechanism serves as the platform for patients’ views on DOH policies and programs, particularly on improving access to medicines be heard by policy makers.

The “Secretary’s Hour” is the highlight of the event. This is the venue for patients to directly dialogue with the Health Secretary on issues that concerns their current health status and jointly explore ways to better address their needs from the government.

The dialogue likewise serves as a valuable opportunity to inform patients on the DOH’s programs.  These programs pertain to Medicines Access Programs, which aim to reach those who are in need of healthcare services but are unable to avail of them due to various reasons such as poverty and inadequate access.  Further, enlightens patients on the President’s directives on lowering the prices of medicines and to increase the availability and promote the use of generic drugs in the country.  And, of equal importance, the Philippine Health Agenda’s Medisina ng Bayan; and efforts to manufacture pharmaceutical products locally are presented.

The Policy Dialogue on Universal Health Care Access to Medicines with the patients is being held quarterly by the DOH to discuss initiatives with regard to pharmaceutical policies and various health care issues. This is in recognition that the patients are the key partners of the government in fulfilling the strategies to achieve the guarantees of the Philippine Health Agenda towards attaining the global call for Universal Health Coverage.