Senator Legarda: PhilHealth Of All Filipinos Covered By 2017 National Budget

Chair of Senate Committee on Finance to PhilHealth and Senator Loren Legarda said all Filipinos will be covered by Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in the 2017 national budget.

The 2017 national budget aims to provide medical assistance to all Filipino people. An additional P3 billion was allocated by Senator Legarda. The health agency will cover the healthcare and medical expenses of sick Filipinos.

“The Department of Health (DOH) said there are some eight million Filipinos still not covered by PhilHealth. It is our duty, in serving the public, to extend basic healthcare protection to all our people. That is why we pushed for the augmentation of the PhilHealth’s budget so that in 2017 we achieve universal health care coverage,” said by Legarda quoted by senate.gov.ph.

The nationwide medical coverage of the health agency can provide medical assistance even to a non-member of PhilHealth, according to the senator. The non-member of the health organization can also avail the medical services on the public hospitals.

Senator Legarda has principally authored the National Health Insurance Act (Republic Act 10606), which is mandating the No Balance Billing on public hospitals. It means that indigent patients will not pay anything on the public hospitals.

P96. 336 billion was also allocated by 2017 national budget on DOH or the construction of additional drug rehabilitation center and health facilities. This budget is separated from the PhilHealth subsidy. Also, an amount of P800 million inclusive of the amount will be used to fund Doctors for the barrio program.

Dedicated physicians and medical experts will be deployed to doctorless communities to provide equitable healthcare services to all areas in the country.

The government is now prioritizing the health of the Filipino people. Legarda also said that they wanted to provide healthcare benefits for unfortunate and indigent households. They also wanted the poorest household in the Philippines to be their beneficiaries.

An amount of P3.350 trillion was the proposed 2017 General Appropriates of Act (GAA) has been already approved by the House of Representatives and the senate. The proposal is expected to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte before Christmas day.