ArchivesDecember 2010Phino to continue: Domingo

Phino to continue: Domingo

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The Provincial Health Office has assured the continuation of the Provincial Health Insurance of Negros Oriental (Phino).

Dr. Dante Domingo, provincial health officer, said the Phino, which was started by then Governor Emilio Macias II, will continue.{{more}}

The Phino was created as the Province’s version of a health care program that promises to outdo the state-owned PhilHealth in delivering medical services.

The Phino was created after PhilHealth refused to accredit the province’s six community primary hospitals in the hinterlands and seven district hospitals.

Six community primary hospitals are where patients from the mountains are first brought, and where decisions are made for further treatment at the PhilHealth-accredited Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital.

“Definitely, this program will continue,” Domingo said, as he revealed that diseases disallowed under Philhealth may be treated under Phino.

PhilHealth gives local government units P300 per member-patient, in what is called a capitation fund, but this is not enough to cover for the hospitalization costs.

With P10-million seed capital, the Province is campaigning to the 25 component towns and cities in Negros Oriental to put up a matching fund to increase Phino’s capital base to the envisioned amount of P50 million.

The 2,000 workers in the provincial government will also be asked to join the program by giving P50 per month, or P600 each year, which Capitol will match with a P600-counterpart.

“This will be like forced budgeting for health, which will ultimately increase the health budget from the present 36 percent to 40 percent,” he said.

The provincial government, which had won a Galing Pook award for its health program during Macias’ first term as governor, has also made great strides in upgrading the equipment at the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital.

With the creation of the Provincial Diagnostic Center and Dialysis Center, the province bought a CT Scan, several ultrasound machines, a mammogram, treadmill and some dialysis machines.

Domingo said that in 1998, the plan of then Gov. Macias to buy a CT scan was severely criticized. “Now, we do CT scans 15 times a day. And for every five CT scan patients, one MRI is needed. The MRI started operations in February 2010.

Domingo said that the cost of getting an MRI procedure at the Provincial Diagnostic Center is much cheaper than in Cebu. “In Cebu, having an MRI of the head, for instance, costs 12,000. Here it’s only P7,000.”

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