Health care for all pinoys

February 20, 2019
Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte

THE Universal Health Care Bill is now a law.

President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday signed into law the Universal Health Care Bill which proposed health care coverage and benefits for all Filipinos.

Under the new law, a National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) will automatically cover all Filipinos, including those without PhilHealth identification cards, either as direct contributor or indirect contributor.

Direct contributors are those who can pay health premiums while indirect contributors are those sponsored like senior citizens or indigents.

Under the law PhilHealth coverage will be expanded to include free consultation tests and other diagnostic services.

Funding problem

A “gradual implementation” of the Universal Healthcare Act is likely if government fails to find ample funds for the program, Malacañang admitted yesterday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that in light of an estimated P164 billion funding gap of the government for the universal health care law, government might be constrained to implement the measure slowly.

“Eh kung wala pang pera, then we’ll have to… Kumbaga kung ang project mo 10 projects in one year eh kung hindi mo naman kayang pondohan eh ‘di medyo i-reduce mo na muna,” Panelo said during a press briefing.

“Gradual ang implementation pero meron pa namang ano, there are many ways to augment the resources. I’m sure our government will know how to source funds in accordance with the Constitution,” he added when asked if the lack of funds would mean that not all Filipinos would be covered by the impending universal healthcare law.