(File photo)

MANILA – The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading a measure establishing the electronic health or eHealth system in the country using information and communications technology.

The chamber, via voice vote, passed House Bill 10245, otherwise referred to as the proposed “eHealth System and Services Act.”

The bill seeks to institutionalize a system of providing wide access to quality health information and services using information and communications technology.

House Committee on Health chairperson and Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan said once the measure is enacted into law, the National eHealth System would cover all existing healthcare providers and other entities developing and using e-health systems, services, applications, and tools.

"It bears stressing that the investment on building access to health services is a crucial requirement for the realization and success of the Universal Health Care for all Filipinos. Hence, investing in eHealth is imperative to ensure equitable access to health care services, most especially those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas and particularly for the poor, disadvantaged, and vulnerable," Tan said.

Tan also underscored the need for and importance of quality access to real-time information for evidence-informed decision making.

Under the bill, a health sector enterprise architecture must be developed and implemented to provide guidance to align and ensure that data are easily made available and accessible, business processes are harmonized and integrated, and services and applications are usable, safe, efficient, and effective.

The design, development, and implementation of eHealth services and applications shall focus on the automation and interoperability of the various mandatory e-health business processes and data services as laid out in the health sector enterprise architecture. (PNA)