House passes Universal Healthcare Bill on 3rd reading

The bill if enacted would require all Filipino citizens to enroll in the National Health Security Program. 

The act providing universal health care for all Filipinos or HB 5784 passed on third reading in the House on Sept. 6, 2017. The bill passed with 222 affirmative votes.

The bill was passed on second reading just last August 22, 2017. The bill is part of Congress’ common legislative agenda and Legislative Executive Advisory Council (LEDAC) list for the 2nd regular session of the 17th Congress.

Among the key provisions of the bill is that it enables individuals and communities to receive the full spectrum of health services they need, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.

This includes inpatient, outpatient, and emergency care services encompassing preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative medical, dental, and mental health services.

Under the proposed UHC Bill, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is reconstituted into the Philippine Health Security Corporation (PHSC) as it becomes the national purchaser of health services.

The UHC membership will be categorized into two: contributory workers, or those who pay such as public and private workers; and non-contributory workers such as indigents.

HB 4784 also provides for the adoption and institutionalization of Health Technology Assessment and the creation of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC), which will serve as an advisory body to the Health Secretary and the Board of Directors of the PHSC on the priority entitlements for universal health coverage.

Furthermore, the bill seeks to mandate the retention of income for all government health facilities, therefore, allowing these hospitals to utilize 100 percent of their income to enhance their capacity and improve the quality of their services.

Photo courtesy of healthcarenewswires