The quick progress made by training participants in bringing their respective areas closer to Universal Health Care (UHC) coverage led the Department of Health’s North Luzon cluster to formally extend its partnership with the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF). This paves the way for ZFF’s leadership program to add 15 more health leaders to its current roster of 32 leaders undergoing its Leadership Development Program to Accelerate UHC (LDP-UHC).
The LDP-UHC started last March. It has been providing DOH North Luzon regional core teams, which include the regional directors and assistant regional directors, coaching and technical assistance to accomplish the necessary deliverables to fulfill the UHC preparatory level requirements. These include the establishment of regional units responsible for health promotion, disaster risk reduction and management, and referral networks among private and public hospitals.
“We continue the program to accelerate UHC. We realize that there is a lot of relationship-building to be done. The essence of this program is that we carefully move away from a transactional approach to leadership, and be more strategic and have a more personal response to implement UHC,” said Health Undersecretary and North Luzon cluster chief Dr. Myrna C. Cabotaje during the ceremonial signing of the partnership agreement last June 29.
Also present during the hybrid event were DOH Undersecretary Dr. Abdullah Dumama Jr., Assistant Health Secretary Roy Ferrer of the Field Implementation and Coordination Team, DOH Cordillera Regional Director Rio Magpantay, DOH Ilocos Regional Director Paula Paz Sydiongco, and DOH Cagayan Regional Director Grace Santiago. ZFF was represented by Executive Director Austere A. Panadero, Deputy Executive Director Dr. Anthony Rosendo Faraon, and Local Health System Portfolio Director Dr. Catherine Chung.
The partnership program with the DOH is an offshoot of ZFF’s Provincial Leadership and Governance Program given to the governors—and their core teams—of Agusan del Sur, Aklan, and Bataan. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the three provinces managed to sustain the reforms to bring them closer to attaining UHC.