The Philippine government inaugurated on Monday, July 12, 2021, the National Patient Navigation and Referral System (NPNRS) in line with its efforts to strengthen and broaden the scope of One Hospital Command Center (OHCC).

The NPNRS aims to provide COVID-19 patients with immediate and quality health services by interconnecting and facilitating communication between hospitals, infirmaries, health facilities, telehealth service providers, local government units, and national government agencies.

Located at the Philippine International Convention Center, the NPNRS will also link indigent and financially-constrained patients with the Malasakit Centers in different health facilities.

Philippine Senator Bong Go attended the opening ceremony in behalf of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Health Undersecretary and treatment czar Leopoldo Vega noted that despite the challenges the DOH has faced in managing the OHCC, the launching of the NPNRS is a testament of the national government’s commitment to improve its COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts.

“Today, we are on course in fulfilling our objective of streamlining our referral system and optimizing the use of medical care services at the national level for a unified COVID-19 response.” Vega said.

“To date we have developed OHCC core processes such as data analysis, case referrals, and transport provision, established a system on call taking management, homecare packages, handling prank calls, and Facebook management to name a few,” he added.

According to Vega, the DOH also hired additional health care workers in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases, installed additional ICT equipment and software, and developed an OHCC coordinator’s handbook.

Other guests of honor during the event included Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, NTF Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, House Committee on Health chairperson and Quezon Rep. Helen Tan, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, NTF Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vivencio Dizon, and MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos. (PR)