As the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) commit to achieve Universal Health Care (UHC), an evidence appraisal training was conducted last 28-30 October 2019 in Clark, Pampanga to enrich the technical rigor of key players as it relates to the law.

While UHC is yet to be fully realized, there is a need to strategically empower implementers of the law on health technology assessment (HTA) as this would be a crucial step towards UHC. The event aimed to strengthen the technical capacity on appraisal methods to make evidence-informed recommendations on coverage decisions. It also served as a platform for stakeholders to provide feedback on proposed HTA processes in the Philippines.

Part of the event was sharing of best practices in Thailand and the United Kingdom on utilizing HTA as a tool to achieve UHC in their jurisdiction. Through this, local experts gained insights on how HTA can efficiently inform decision-making and how it can be effectively implemented considering the Philippine local health context and the legal mandate under the UHC law.

The three-day training was conducted by experts from Thailand Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP) through the World Health Organization (WHO).

Attendees were members of Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) mandated by the law to facilitate the development of recommendations, the DOH-HTA unit which will serve as HTAC’s supporting office providing secretariat and evidence generation support, and representatives from PhilHealth and also the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as HTA’s seat in five years.