HEALTH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III on Wednesday asked the business sector to invest in improving health services for Filipinos, particularly in the areas of affordable medicine and the construction of medical* facilities. "I propose this challenge to the business sector to innovate and bridge the existing gaps (in health care) and become a partner with DoH in providing better health outcomes toFilipinos," he said at a EuropeanChamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) luncheon in Makati City. Mr. Duque also proposed investment in medical equipment, electronic health systems, arid medical tourism. The Department of Health (DoH) is currently evaluating eight public-private proposals for its health programs, as well as four unsolicited proposals covering vaccine production, research and development as well as equipment maintenance and radiation therapy for DoH regional hospitals. "I encourage you, the private Sector, to take part of these, private-public partnership opportunities," he said. Mr. Duque said the department's focus is on reforming health financing, regulation, service delivery, governance and performance accountability, with the goal of making Filipinos the healthiest in Southeast Asia by 2022, supported by a universal health care system. Proposed measures for universal health care remained pending in Congress. The House of Representatives approved its version last year while the Senate has been conducting public consultations. Sen. Joseph Victor G. Ejercito,chair of the Senate committee on health and demography, has committed to passing the proposed measure at the Senate before the end of the year. Mr. Duque also hoped to increase the resources available to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHeath), with measures including increasing the premiums.