PhilHealth taps PLDT to upgrade IT connectivity
The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has vowed to provide its members hassle-free and faster services after it forged a deal with telecommunications firm PLDT Alpha Enterprise for the upgrade of PhilHealth’s regional and local offices’ existing connectivity using the virtual private network (VPN) technology.
The two-year agreement with PLDT will make sure that all the PhilHealth’s regional offices and local health insurance offices will be equipped with the Internet Protocol-Virtual Private Network (IP-VPN) technology that will shorten transaction response time in its frontline servicing areas.
“We are very happy with this partnership [because] for so long, we’ve had some problems and technical glitches with our information technology. But we believe that PLDT will contribute tremendously to our effort,” said PhilHealth president Alexander Padilla in a statement Tuesday.
PLDT Alpha Enterprise won the bidding for PhilHealth’s connectivity project that aims to provide reliable communication links between its head office, its regional offices, local health insurance offices and at the point of service.
Currently, only 24 regional and local offices are using the IP-VPN technology, including the backbone network backhaul for data centers.
The rest of its offices still rely on the Internet-which has limited bandwidth, in conducting its daily business, preventing PhilHealth from delivering prompt services to its members particularly in offices with high volume of transactions.
Under the agreement, the telecommunications firm will replace the current Internet connections with IP-VPN technology plus sufficient bandwidth. It shall also install and operationalize PhilHealth Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity to address initial requirements.
The company is also expected to supply the communication linkages, hardware and software requirements, to integrate the WAN connectivity to the PhilHealth Enterprise Network and ensure its security and maintain its undisrupted operation.
Padilla said the upgrade was expected to solve the bottleneck in terms of connectivity and allow the insurance firm to achieve its objective of improving customer satisfaction.
He emphasized that a reliable connectivity between all its offices was imperative as the state-owned insurance firm continued to expand its membership under the Aquino administration’s universal healthcare program.
So far, 89 million Filipinos are enrolled in PhilHealth, more than half of which come from the poor sector.
“With 89 million Filipinos relying on our frontline services, especially when medical necessities arise, we must have a reliable IT infrastructure that can facilitate transactions especially at the point of service,” said Padilla.