UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE ACT: A BILL TO COVER FILIPINO HEALTH RISKS
MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte signed today the Universal Health Care Act, the measure that would provide health care coverage for all Filipinos.
This measure ensures all Filipinos access to quality and affordable health goods and services and protection against financial risks. It automatically enrolls all Filipinos to the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP).
Membership in the NHIP will be classified as “direct contributors” or those who have the capacity to pay premiums, or “indirect contributors” or those sponsored by the government such as indigents, senior citizens, and PWD’s.
The law also grants every Filipino “immediate eligibility” and access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative health services, delivered either as population-based or individual-based health services.
According to Senator JV Ejercito, principal author of the Senate version A budget of P257 billion is anticipated for the first year for the implementation of the bill. Earlier he said that the passage of the law would expand the existing PhilHealth coverage which would include free medical checkups, laboratory tests, and other diagnostic services.
Funds for public health coverage will be pooled from the incremental sin tax collections, charity fund from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), income from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), premium contribution of members, annual appropriations of the Department of Health (DOH), and the government subsidy to PhilHealth.