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Universal Health Care featured in PhilHealth's first media event for 2019 March 20, 2019

Ferrer expresses confidence that Congress will pass a new legislation that will increase taxes on tobacco and alcohol products for the UHC law.

THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) recently featured the newly signed Universal Health Care (UHC) Act during its first "Kapihan with Media" held on February 26 in Pasig City.

The event was led by PhilHealth Acting President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Roy B. Ferrer, and attended by media practitioners from various national print, radio, online and TV stations. Also present were PhilHealth senior officers including Executive and Chief Operating Officer Ruben John A. Basa, Chief Information Officer Jovita Aragona, Acting Senior Vice President for Legal Services Atty. Rodolfo del Rosario, Acting Senior Vice President for Fund Management Renato Limsiaco Jr., Acting Senior Vice President for Actuary Nerissa Santiago, Vice President for Member Management Dr. Francisco Soria, Area III Vice President Walter Bacareza, and Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Official Spokesperson Dr. Shirley Domingo.

Key performance indicators in 2018 were discussed that made PhilHealth fully prepared for the coming of the UHC. It was emphasized that some 104 million Filipinos are already covered by the Program and are now enjoying financial protection from health risks. The program has also effectively broken down social and economic barriers that used to deny many of our kababayans access to quality health care and removed socioeconomic status, gender, location, cultural upbringing or religious beliefs as a determining factor for accessing health care services.

A run through of the UHC's salient points that impact PhilHealth, such as the automatic coverage inclusion of all Filipinos into the program, and the granting of immediate eligibility and access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative care medical, dental, mental and emergency health services was also done. The UHC Act also guarantees all Filipinos outright entitlement to PhilHealth benefits as long as they meet certain conditions set forth by the law.

A PhilHealth ID shall no longer be required before availment of the services and benefits; and more importantly, there will be no co-payment for services availed of in basic or ward type accommodations since both PhilHealth and the Department of Health shall regulate co-payments and co-insurance in public hospitals.

For his part, Ferrer thanked the media partners and appealed for their help in realizing the vision and wonderful intention of the UHC law which for him is a reform that will be truly felt by Filipinos especially the vulnerable sector of the society.

"Sana po ay magkaroon ang bawa't isa ng pagkakaisa at pagtutulungan para mangyari ang hinahangad ng UHC na mabigyan ng karampatang serbisyo ang bawa't kalusugan ng Filipino, saan man siya naroroon, anoman ang kaniyang katayuan sa buhay, at anoman ang kaniyang karamdaman,"

"Tiyak ng hindi mapagkakaitan ang bawa't Filipino ng serbisyong kinakailangan niya. That is what we meant by PhilHealth being the equalizer of man. Lahat ay pantay-pantay dahil karapatan ng bawat isang maging malusog at gumaling sa kaniyang karamdaman." Ferrer further noted of the UHC.

Some of the questions raised by the media representatives on the new law pertain to membership, expansion of benefits, monitoring of hospitals, penal provisions, PhilHealth's strategies in disseminating information, how to avail of benefits for OFWs, location of PhilHealth offices in other countries, and specific issues on claims.

As a regular activity of PhilHealth's Corporate Communication Department, "Kapihan with Media" aims to bring the media partners "up close and personal" with the APCEO and keep them up-to-date on the latest developments on PhilHealth's programs and services. (END)

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Universal Health Care featured in PhilHealth's first media event for 2019