Clearly, we now see the need to invest more in our health system to improve its capacity to address the growing needs of the Filipino people. After this pandemic, let us urge our lawmakers to push for more funding, innovation, and research.
Why do we keep treating people for illness, only to send them back to the conditions that created the illness in the first place?
It is a bit frustrating to give your all just so they can be wasted in the end. Clearly, the current system is inefficient and cure-centric. How do we cure a sick health system?
In poor countries such as the Philippines, where labor is cheap and work conditions are poor, the need for subsistence often takes away an individual’s capacity to choose.
We don’t usually depend on what others say about us or how they see us because we need to own our truth. But, up to which point do we continuously neglect the truth, as perceived by others? They, too, are mirrors to our truth.
The moment we deny ourselves the truth is the time we succumb to lie and deception.
Given adequate information, the market theory assumes that consumers know what is best for themselves; hence, they make choices that maximize their total satisfaction. If this assumption is wrong, markets may not efficiently produce. We call this satisfaction consumers gain from consuming a good or service as “utility”. The satisfaction (or utility) depends on the quantity and mix of goods and services chosen by a consumer. The theory holds that consumers get more satisfaction from more goods and services but the increase in satisfaction from consuming additional units gradually diminishes. In health care, how do consumers go about choosing the mix of goods and services which give them the maximum total utility? In places where there are few sources of health care goods and services, do people take into account their tastes/preferences and income when choosing a combination of goods and services which gives the people the highest utility? Do people’s preferences and tastes change in situations where there are very few choices? Or do they develop an acquired taste/preference because of limitations posed by societal inequities?
Will it be possible for current health informations systems (HIS) to be integrated into a national health information system? How can existing health information systems in the Philippines be harmonized into a single system without violating data privacy and confidentiality? Currently, the Philippines has a fragmented health information system where health institutions across the country use their own health information technology; thus, we cannot expect the interoperability among these systems.The interoperability of health information systems make the transfer of patient/consumer data from one facility to another easier while maintaining the basic standards of privacy and confidentiality as espoused by the Data Privacy Act.
Building a national health information system from scratch is counterproductive. Rather, the government should enforce the implementation of Health Data Standards for eHealth Standardization and Interoperability to promote uniformity and consistency of health data, and facilitate data exchange among different information systems through the Philippine Health Information Exchange (PHIE). The PHIE can serve as a common, standardized point of communication between various systems engaged in information exchange, where organizations use standard message structures defined to contain the required health information requested or supplied by the exchanging parties. As such, each existing HIS will only need to convert its data to standard message structures and connect to the PHIE, reducing substantial cost and time spent in developing a whole new information system.