Press Release | 21 January 2023

In accordance with the directives of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to improve access to primary and specialty healthcare for all Filipinos, the Department of Health (DOH) conducted the first National Staff Meeting (NSM) with its Central Office Bureaus, Centers for Health Development (CHD), DOH Hospitals, as well as attached agencies from January 18 to 20, 2023.

The NSM served as a venue for discussions on the Department’s priority areas guided by the aims of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act. Discussions encompassed health facility governance and financing as well as the provision of medical assistance to indigent patients, programs on vaccination, supply chain management, and data reporting.

Through the conclusion of the event, NSM Resolution No. 2023-01 was approved by the body adopting the “Sulong Kalusugan” Health Sector Strategy (HSS) for 2023 to 2028 by creating healthy settings for every Filipino, fast-tracking implementation of Primary Health Care Packages, strengthening International Health Regulation (IHR), and enacting the DOH Policy Agenda for 2023.

“As stewards of health for the Filipino people, the DOH stands firm on its aim of further realizing UHC across the entire country. With the cooperation of all organizations under the health sector, we can achieve a healthier Pilipinas through the observance of our Health Sector Strategy for the next five years,” said Officer-in-Charge Health Secretary Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.

The creation of healthy settings through health promotion, strengthening health security involving international health regulations and Center for Disease Prevention and Control, and bolstering health response capabilities through improving the National Patient Navigation and Referral System and Health Emergency Auxiliary Reinforcement Team were similarly tackled throughout the event duration. On the third and final day, the 2023 DOH agenda was presented, including legislative, policy and research, technical assistance and scorecards, and the calendar of activities, which would concretize  the implementation of the UHC Act.

“Sa pamamagitan ng NSM, tayo po ay nagpulong upang magdiskusyon para mas mapag-igting ang mga serbisyo at programang pangkalusugan ng Kagawaran. With the conclusion of the first NSM, we are moving in unison and taking further steps to realizing the Universal Health Care Act, delivering quality healthcare service, as well as improving health outcomes and healthy settings for the welfare of every Filipino,” concluded OIC Health Chief Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.