THE approval of the Universal Health Care law is seen as an early Christmas gift to all Filipinos including the jobless or “istambay” who will also benefit once President Rodrigo Duterte signs the measure into law this year.
The consolidated version of House Bill No. 5784 and Senate Bill No. 1896, entitled “Universal Health Care for All Filipinos Act,” was approved by the Bicameral Conference last Tuesday.
“Istambay o ‘yung walang trabaho, mayaman, mahirap, basta Pilipino siya, covered siya ng national health insurance program sa ilalim ng UHC,” Senator JV Ejercito. the main author of the law said.
The reconciled version is expected to be ratified by both Houses, and then, it will be submitted to President Duterte for signature for it to become a law.
“Magandang pamasko ito sa ating mga kababayan kapag napirmahan agad ni Presidente,” he said.
Under the UHC, every Filipino is entitled to and will be provided with affordable access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services.
Aside from lower out-of-pocket expenses for hospitalization and other medical interventions, under the UHC, fees for primary health care like check-ups and laboratory procedures will also become affordable since the government will shoulder the bigger percentage of the costs.
“Kaya hindi na dapat matakot sa gastos ang ating mga kababayan na magpakunsulta sa doktor dahil abot-kaya na ‘to at para maagapan at hindi lumala ang sakit. Kung kailangan man ng matagalang gamutan o ospital, katuwang pa rin ang gobyerno sa gastos sa ilalim ng UHC,” Ejercito explained.