The Philippine Policy Context for eHealth

James A. Salisi,1 Jay Pee Z. Cruz,1 Sophia Francesca DP. Lu2 and
Portia H. Fernandez-Marcelo1

1National Telehealth Center, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila
2Department of Social Sciences, University of the Philippines Manila

Background: eHealth in the Philippines is poised to take off but adoption of eHealth applications in the country’s public health sector is limited in scale.

Objective: This paper examines the context and status of eHealth policy in the Philippines. The aim is to lay out the domains of policy issues that should be addressed for the successful implementation of eHealth in the Philippines.

Methods: The themes and issues of policies on eHealth cited by Khoja, Durrani, Nayani and Fahim (2012) were used to describe and analyze the status of eHealth policy context in the Philippines. These are: (1) networked care, (2) interjurisdictional practice, (3) diffusion of eHealth/digital divide, (4) eHealth integration with existing systems, (5) response to new initiatives, (6) goal-setting for eHealth policy, (7) evaluation and research, (8) investment, and (9) ethics in eHealth. Documents and policies in the form of enacted laws, memoranda, implementing rules and regulations were retrieved and reviewed to answer whether or not policy themes and issues are addressed currently.

Results and Conclusion: Current policies in the status quo do not adequately address the issues that enable effective implementation of eHealth in the Philippines. While preconditions for eHealth to flourish such as strategic frameworks for ICT and eHealth have been established, they are inadequate in addressing licensing, diffusion of innovation, handling innovation, evaluation and research, and investment.

Key Words: eHealth Policy, Telehealth, Philippine eHealth, Khoja’s policy domains