Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DOH eyes revival of Inter-Local Health Zones in Central Luzon

by: Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga July 4 (PIA) -- Department of Health-Center for Health Development 3 (DOH-CHD 3) is eyeing the revival of all Inter-Local Health Zones (ILHZ) in Central Luzon.

In an interview, DOH-CHD Central Luzon director Leonita Gorgolon explained that “the resurgence of these health zones is one of the key strategies I see that will further our objectives in providing quality health services to our people.”

ILHZs were conceived via Executive Order No. 25 of former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada in 1999.

It is defined by the issuance as any form of organized arrangement for coordinating the operations of an array and hierarchy of health providers and facilities, which typically includes primary health providers, a core referral hospital and an end-referral hospital that is jointly serving a common population within a local geographic area under the jurisdiction of more than one local government.

DOH-CHD 3 started with six pilot ILHZs in the then six provinces of Central Luzon namely Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.

From 1999 to 2003, a total of 28 ILHZs were established in the region however at this time only two are considered functional- one in Gapan and the other in Guimba.

“The Kalusugan Pangkalahatan of the Aquino administration seeks to achieve three strategic thrusts namely financial risk protection through expansion in National Health Insurance Program and benefit delivery, improved access to quality hospital and health care facilities, and attainment of the health-related Mid-Decade Goals by combining the efforts of DOH, Local Government Units and other stakeholders. Thus with the present status of ILHZs, there is a need to reorganize them to facilitate the implementation as well as attainment of our targets” Gorgolon emphasized. (WLB/CLJD-PIA 3)