The Department of Health (DOH) organized a Consultative Meeting on the Development of Policy and Guidelines for the Availment and Prioritization of Projects under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) on April 20-22, 2022 at Baguio City.

Spearheaded by the DOH-PPP for Health-Program Management Office (PMO), the workshop was attended by the DOH’s Centers for Health Development from various regions, some joining in via virtual teleconference.

As part of the DOH’s continuing efforts to improve health infrastructure, the DOH-PPPH-PMO intends to consolidate the inputs from this meeting into a guideline on how its attached agencies, including DOH retained hospitals, can identify and utilize PPPs as a development option for their infrastructure plans.

Topics on PPP concepts, experience on handling PPP projects and health PPPs in other countries were presented by resource speakers from the PPP Center, Department of Public Works and Highways, Ernst & Young India, and the International Finance Corporation.

The health and economic crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust a renewed spotlight on the urgent need to invest in health care delivery. In the Philippines, the timely passage of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act in 2019 serves as the legislative and regulatory framework for much-needed reforms in the health care system.

As investments in health care can entail significant costs to the public sector, PPP is one of the possible delivery mechanisms for the government to achieve universal healthcare and ensure resilient health care systems. The public sector also stands to benefit from the efficiency gains, innovation, and expertise that the private sector can bring to health care systems.

DOH issued Administrative Order No. 2019-28 tackling the revised policy framework for PPP for health in support of universal health care. There are various government implementing agencies that can undertake health PPPs as a way to deliver quality and cost-efficient health care services.

Presently, health-related PPP projects in the pipeline include the UP Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Diliman Project, which involves the development of a tertiary care hospital with outpatient services, a medical research center, a school of medicine, and other ancillary facilities; and the UP PGH Manila Cancer Center Project, which aims to establish the first comprehensive cancer center in the Philippines. Both projects were endorsed by the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) – Technical Board to the ICC for approval.

Other projects in the pipeline include the hemodialysis center project of Cagayan Valley Medical Center, the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, and the Mariveles Wellness Center in Bataan. DOH-PPPH-PMO, with assistance from the PPP Center, aims for the continued development and expansion of their health PPP project pipeline.