President Rodrigo Duterte finally signed some important bill to make it a law on February 20, including the Universal Healthcare Act, making all Filipinos automatic members of Philhealth.
The said law will make all Filipino citizens receive automatic health insurance that would give them big savings if they need to receive medical treatment.
This will also provide free consultation fees, laboratory tests, and other diagnostic procedures.
According to the bill, the new Philhealth membership will be divided into two categories, the direct and indirect contributors.
The direct contributors are the employees, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and professionals, but even if they fail to pay monthly, they’re still entitled to receive the benefits of Philhealth.
“The laws that we pass today will surely make a positive impact on our people by automatically extolling out citizens into the national health insurance program and expanding PhilHealth coverage to include free medical consultations and laboratory test,” President Duterte said.
“The Universal Healthcare Law that I signed today will guarantee equitable access and affordable healthcare to all Filipinos,” he added.
Meanwhile, the indirect contributors are the senior citizens, indigents are other people that will be subsidized by the government.
They will enjoy the no balance billing when they admitted to any public hospitals.
Filipinos are not required anymore to show Philhealth identification cards if they want to avail free medical services.
The law also added that graduates from health-related courses from state universities and colleges (SUCs) are required to serve in public hospitals for three years to solve the doctor-to-patient ratio.
Universal Healthcare Act will be funded by taxes from sin taxes, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation Income, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philhealth Contributions and Department of Health (DOH) Annual budget.
The bill was authored by Senator JV Ejercito with the endorsement of President Rodrigo Duterte while former Kabayan representative Harry Roque was the principal author in the lower house.
“And the Universal Healthcare is signed into law! Thank you Lord!” Senator JV Ejercito said in his tweet.
Meanwhile the blogger Krizette Laureta Chu explains why Universal Healthcare law has been passed quickly.
“Duterte in his third SONA told the Senate to make the Universal Health Care bill urgent. This is what happens when you have a legislative body that supports the Executive. So please this election, support those who support the government para ma fast track lahat.” she wrote.