June 23, 2021

A measure introduced in the House of Representatives envisions a national hospital referral system

House Bill 9633, which aims to institutionalize and expand the scope of the One Hospital Command System, contains a nationwide patient navigation and referral system that will improve the provision of health care delivery.

Patients may travel through various levels of the health system by establishing the National Patient Navigation and Referral System (NPNRS), according to the law that was given to the media on Tuesday.

Rep. Angelina Tan of Quezon 4th District, who submitted the bill on Monday, said it will connect with Malasakit Centers throughout the country to provide financial risk protection, especially for poor and financially handicapped patients.

According to Republic Act No. 11223, also known as the Universal Health Care Act, the NPNRS is designed to support, strengthen, and facilitate primary care providers’ provision of health services as navigators, coordinators, and initial and continuing points of contact in the health care delivery system.

“With its institutionalization, the NPNRS aims to rethink and change the character of the Philippines’ health-care delivery system, aiming for better responsiveness, equality, accessibility, and quality,” Tan added.

Covid-19 treatment czar and Undersecretary of Health As the country continues to struggle with the epidemic, Leopoldo Vega previously said that the One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) should act as a “coordinated referral for all” throughout the country.

The OHCC is presently facilitating a comprehensive and coordinated response to the Covid-19 epidemic in Metro Manila by providing effective and efficient health facility referral to minimize patient waiting times by sending them to the right health institution.

The NPNRS will promote and enhance province-wide and city-wide health-care provider networks throughout the nation, according to the law.

It will make it easier for local government units, hospitals, infirmaries, and other health institutions, telehealth service providers, and local and national government agencies to work together to make the most of limited health resources and enhance patient access to high-quality care.

It will also act as a guide in directing patients and a gatekeeper in ensuring the rational and efficient use of existing health resources; and it will interconnect and facilitate communication among hospitals, infirmaries, other health facilities, telehealth service providers, local, and national government agencies to improve patient access to high-quality health care.

The law, according to Tan, would support the OHCC’s continuing efforts to improve medical transport and patient pick-up arrangements, offer health system capacity data analytics and risk communications, and optimize the utilization of critical care services in all hospitals throughout the nation.

The creation of Regional Patient Navigation and Referral Units, which will act as the NPNRS’s implementing arm in all areas, will make this feasible.

PHOTO: Courtesy of One Hospital Command Center

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