Dr. Alvin Marcelo introducing AeHIN and the Mind the GAPS Framework

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the Department of Health Philippines organized the forum “Unified Data Collection through the National Health Data Repository and Access to Public Health and Health-related Data” at Tagaytay Haven Hotel in Tagaytay City, Philippines, on February 7-8, 2023. The event was supported by the Asian Development Bank.

The forum was held to address the gaps in efficiency, specifically redundancy in data submissions, integration in terms of access and search of health data in multiple systems and agree on investment and costs in developing the National Health Data Repository (NHDR). The event was attended by various stakeholders such as the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd), Population Commission, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). 

The topics presented and discussed were the Philippines’ Universal Health Care (UHC) Act and the Health Sector Strategy for 2023-2028, UHC Enterprise Architecture (EA), the Philippine Identification System and its role in healthcare, the Digital Transformation in Local Government Units (LGUs) which is part of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, the National Health Data Repository (NHDR) Framework and the Unified Data Management and Governance Framework, Integrated Health Information System, the Health Level 7 – Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard, and the Philippine eHealth Strategic Framework & Plan and Health Enterprise Architecture.

Participants pointed the Philippines’ Inter-agency Committee on Health and Nutrition Statistics as the potential starting point to identify use cases for the setting up of the NHDR. It is expected that the technical design for data submission from electronic medical records systems to the NHDR will commence within the year.

Dr. Alvin Marcelo from the AeHIN Governing Committee presented AeHIN’s Mind the GAPS Framework and talked about its importance in institutionalizing IT reforms in the health sector to  achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC). According to him, reactivating the National eHealth Governance Steering Committee and Technical Working Group is critical to champion a shared blueprint and roadmap that all stakeholders could understand.

Francis Uy, the lead consultant for the UHC Enterprise Architecture in the Philippines, emphasized that all programs and projects undertaken by the collaborating agencies and stakeholders would need to be in line with the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the UHC Law and the Philippine Health Sector Strategy 2023-2028 to support the implementation of the NHDR.

Dr. Marcelo is certified in COBIT5, TOGAF, and Archimate, and a member of the Philippines’ Health Enterprise Architecture Expert Group who contributed to the National Health Data Repository Framework.

Uy is a TOGAF-certified architect, CEO of Sinag Solutions, and a member of the AeHIN Regional Enterprise Architecture Council for Health (REACH).