The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) confirmed recently that all Filipinos would surely receive health care services, without heavy financial burden due to costly treatments when the Universal Health Care (UHC) bill is signed into law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
This was disclosed recently by Dr. Roy B. Ferrer, acting PhilHealth president, adding an encouraging note as the entire nation awaits the historic prospects when the UHC bill becomes a law.
The said bill was approved by both the Senate of the Philippines and the House of Representatives early last month, and was thenceforth transmitted to Malacañang last January 23rd. The President is expected to act on the bill in 30 days.
“We are on the verge of a new era not just for the health sector but for the entire country. It is only a matter of time that real and profound changes will take place that will surely be felt by our countrymen,” Ferrer said.
The PhilHealth chief said that the UHC aims to automatically include all Filipinos in the National Health Insurance Program, and grant them immediate eligibility to claim the benefits when needed.
Ferrer revealed that over 100 million Filipinos are currently covered by PhilHealth. With UHC, the remaining six million of the population will soon be included and provided with health insurance.
The PhilHealth Chief added that the state health insurer has mechanisms in place, so “it can truly fulfill the law’s mandate, pending the issuance of the UHC law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).”
“Non-members are assured that, under the UHC act, every Filipino will be treated by any PhilHealth accredited hospital,” Ferrer declared.
The state agency also declared that soon after the UHC law’s IRR is completed, all 106 million Filipinos can expect a better level of coverage and improved services from PhilHealth and from the country’s entire health sector in general.
PhilHealth’s Point-of-Service Program will enable patients to avail of PhilHealth’s health care facilities, provided they are confined in government facilities. “Even women who are about to give birth are guaranteed coverage using the same process, whatever health facility they are admitted into,” Ferrer said.
The PhilHealth top executive assured that active PhilHealth members remain fully entitled to their PhilHealth benefits.
By law, paying members such as those employed and self-paying, should continue remitting their premium contributions, Ferrer emphasized, adding that “this member support will ensure the stability of our fund.”
The poor and senior citizens remain covered as guaranteed by various laws for as long as they are qualified.” Ferrer emphasized.