Senate OKs Universal Health Care bill
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Wednesday passed on third and final reading the measure which will soon give Filipinos access to affordable and quality health service.
Voting 14-0, the Senate approved Senate Bill 1896 or the Universal Health Care bill.
Under the bill, all Filipino citizens will automatically be enrolled into the National Health Insurance as direct contributor or those who have the capacity to pay premiums or indirect contributor or the indigents, senior citizens, among others.
Filipinos can also avail of primary health care services even without the PhilHealth identification cards once the bill becomes a law.
The proposed measure also aims to improve the doctor-to-patient ratio, upgrade hospital bed capacities and equipment and establish hospital in far-flung areas.
“This bill will ensure that financial issues will no longer be a burden to our countrymen when it comes to healthcare,” Sen. JV Ejercito, the bill’s principal author, said when he sponsored the measure.
The bill’s co-author and co-sponsor, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, called the passage of the bill on third and final reading a “giant leap” in equalizing health service delivery for all Filipinos.
“The measure will have a significant, lasting and profound effect on the health of every Filipino as it closes the economic, class and gender gaps in the delivery of healthcare systems in the country,” Hontiveros said.
The House of Representatives earlier passed a version of the bill in September last year.