Huwebes, Mayo 19, 2011

From “womb-to-tomb” health coverage of all Filipinos, attainable

“All Filipinos should have health insurance coverage.”

This was the vision upon the enactment of the Republic Act 7875 or the National Health Insurance Act of 1995, with financing by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth.

RA 7875 mandates that the National Health Insurance Program “shall give health insurance coverage and make sure affordable, existing and approachable necessary healthcare services for all citizens.”

However, the goal, from the time of the law’s enactment, has never attained fruition as many Filipinos still do not have access to healthcare services, according to Dr. Fernando Melendrez, renowned thoracic surgeon and former official at the Lung Center of the Philippines, during the Broadcasters’ Forum held at the Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City earlier today.

“This is where “Universal Health” or the “Socialized Health Insurance Program” comes in, Dr. Melendrez—ardent advocate of the said program—said.

The proposed universal health program is said to give all Filipinos access to available and affordable health services.

“Even the poor can be given medical services when needed through a socialized health insurance,” Dr. Melendrez explained.

The idea is that the strong finances the sick, and the abounding finances the poor.

The outcome is a universal health coverage from ‘womb to tomb’.

The process goes with yearly contributions, pegged at P1,200 per year, made by able Filipinos. The funds will be relegated for use by the needy sick.

Dr. Melendrez said that the program would save many Filipinos needing medical care but are financially incapable to have so.

With the universal health program, at least 20 million family groups will be covered by health insurance.  

The universal health is an advocacy that would help strengthen the government’s health program also known as the Aquino Health Agenda. 

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