US and DoH Launch New Health Care Referral System Operations Manual

Joining DoH and PhilHealth officials, Deputy Regional Director for the Central Visayas DoH, Dr. Sophia Mancao (third from left), Deputy Director of USAid's Office of Health in the Philippines, Dr. Yolanda Oliveros (third from right), and USAid ReachHealth project implementing partner, RTI International Vice President of Global Health Dr. Hala AlMossawi (second from right) at the launch.

Joining DoH and PhilHealth officials, Deputy Regional Director for the Central Visayas DoH, Dr. Sophia Mancao (third from left), Deputy Director of USAid’s Office of Health in the Philippines, Dr. Yolanda Oliveros (third from right), and USAid ReachHealth project implementing partner, RTI International Vice President of Global Health Dr. Hala AlMossawi (second from right) at the launch.

The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAid), and the Department of Health (DoH) launched the second edition of the System Operations Manual in Cebu City. health care guidance from the Central Visayas Center for Health Development.

The health care referral system ensures the efficient referral of patients between health care providers and is an essential part of the Universal Health Care Act. The new manual contains guidance on implementing the region’s improved referral system, ensuring close collaboration between healthcare providers, local governments and other healthcare organizations.

It builds on lessons learned from the previous edition of the handbook and has been adapted to current realities and needs. Through its ReachHealth project, USAid supported the DoH’s Central Visayas Center for Health Development to review its referral system processes, conduct stakeholder consultations, and finalize the second edition of the manual.

“We are proud to be part of this endeavor to provide healthcare to Filipinos seamlessly,” said Dr. Yolanda Oliveros, Deputy Director of USAid’s Philippines Health Office. “As a longtime friend, partner, and ally, the U.S. government, through USAid, will continue to work with our partners to further strengthen the region’s health system in pursuit of the vision of Universal Health Care Act.”

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The updated manual also reflects the region’s innovations in implementing a functional health referral system at the regional, provincial and municipal levels – pioneering electronic referrals, the 711 health line and telemedicine services that save lives. Since 2015, the regional referral system has helped thousands of clients in Central Visayas access quality primary care services and lifesaving telemedicine.

“This knowledge product is a powerful tool to operationalize our improved health referral systems. It is a heartfelt reminder that securing people’s health leads to building healthy and progressive communities – the ultimate goal of AmBisyon Natin 2040,” the DoH Central Visayas Center for Health Development said. Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas.

Since 2019, USAid has been supporting national and local governments with technical assistance and policy advice to implement the Universal Health Care Act. The United States government has been a key development champion in the Philippines for six decades, working with individuals, communities, and government to improve everyday life.


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