Duterte signs Universal Health Care Law. What does it mean for us?

niversal Health Care Law means access to medicine, medical services

In a special ceremony in Malacañang, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law that aims to provide health care for all Filipinos.

Along with the lawmakers who championed the measure, Duterte affixed his signature to the universal health care (UHC) law or Republic Act No 11223.

The law intends to automatically enroll every Filipino in the National Health Insurance Program, created by the measure.

Universal health care law by on Scribd

How can the UHC law be of benefit to us?

Firstly, it creates the National Health Insurance Program which is an integrated health care plan supposedly covering all essential health needs. All Filipino citizens are eligible for the program (though members can be either direct or indirect). Direct membership  means it requires the payment of health premiums, while indirect membership does not and will be given to senior citizens and indigents.

Some of the benefits that  the law provides are “immediate access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative health services” and a primary health care provider. While the ‘essential health benefit package’ includes (but is not limited to) “primary care; diagnostics and laboratory services; prescription medicines.”

What’s next after this? 

With the law’s passage, government health care services must now transition to fit the UHC system.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), about P257 billion would be needed to be able to implement UHC in its first year.

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