UHC LAW IMPLEMENTING RULES, REGULATIONS AVAILABLE BY JULY: DOH
MANILA — The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Universal Health Care (UHC) law will be available earlier than its 180-day deadline, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.
DOH Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said the drafting of the IRR has been divided to several working groups – service delivery, health regulations, governance and health financing.
“We’re at the early stages of the draft, we’re confident that we’ll finish the draft before the 180 days given by law, by maybe July or early August of the year. We’re targeting July. It’s not really problematic, there are just somethings which needs to be studied more, the health financing, for example, and the health service delivery,” he said.
Domingo assured there are sufficient funds for the UHC implementation from the proposed 2019 national budget, revenues from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and the contributions of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) members.
“For the PHP247 billion that we need, we have PHP207 billion and we’re working on the other PHP40 billion by increasing taxes on tobacco and alcohol. After the elections, the Senate has still one-week period for sessions and we hope to pass the new rates on sin taxes,” he said.
On February 20, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the UHC act into law.
The law makes all Filipinos members of PhilHealth, either as direct or indirect contributors, providing immediate eligibility and access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care for medical, dental, mental and emergency health services.
It encourages the private sector to be implementation partners to provide Filipinos improved benefit packages that will reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.
“It’s completely a new way of delivering health care from primary care to the secondary, then, tertiary hospitals and the setting up of networks within the provinces,” Domingo said.