U.S., DOH Launch Central Visayas Health Referral System  

DOH Central Visayas Assistant Regional Director Dr. Sophia Mancao (third from left) joins DOH and PhilHealth officials, USAID Philippines Office of Health Deputy Director Dr. Yolanda Oliveros (third from right), and USAID ReachHealth Project implementing partner RTI International Vice President of Global Health Dr. Hala AlMossawi (second from right) during the June 28 launch of the second edition of the Central Visayas health care referral system operations manual.

Manila, July 11, 2022—The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Health (DOH) launched in Cebu City recently the second edition of the Central Visayas Center for Health Development health care referral system operations manual. 

The health care referral system ensures the efficient referral of patients among health care providers and is a critical component of the Universal Health Care Law.  The new manual contains guidance on implementing the region’s upgraded referral system, ensuring strong collaboration among health care providers, local governments, and other health care organizations.  It draws on lessons learned from the previous edition of the manual and has been adapted to current realities and needs. 

Through its ReachHealth Project, USAID supported DOH’s Central Visayas Center for Health Development in revisiting its referral system processes, conducting stakeholders’ consultation and finalizing the second edition of the manual. 

“We are proud to be part of this endeavor toward seamlessly providing health care for Filipinos,” said USAID Philippines Office of Health Deputy Director Dr. Yolanda Oliveros.  “As an enduring friend, partner, and ally, the U.S. government, through USAID, will continue to work with our partners in further strengthening the region’s health system in pursuit of the vision of the Universal Health Care Law.” 

The updated manual also reflects the region’s innovations in implementing a functional health referral system at the regional, provincial, and city levels—pioneering electronic referrals, the 711 healthline, and lifesaving telemedicine services.  Since 2015, the regional referral system has helped thousands of clients from the Central Visayas access quality primary care services and lifesaving telemedicine. 

“This knowledge product is a powerful tool in operationalizing our upgraded health referral systems.  It is a heartfelt reminder that securing people’s health leads to creating healthy and progressive communities— the ultimate goal of AmBisyon Natin 2040,” said DOH Central Visayas Center for Health Development Regional Director Dr. Jaime S. Bernadas. 

Since 2019, USAID has supported national government and local governments with technical assistance and policy guidance to implement the Universal Health Care Act. 

The United States government has been a key development champion in the Philippines for six decades, working with individuals, communities and the government to improve everyday lives. 



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