It is here.
It has come.
The Universal Health Care (UHC) is now in Region 8, and as the whole country enforces the law in government hospitals, Eastern Visayas region is likewise set to provide sooner the “health care coverage” to all its citizens.
As an initial step, a series of information caravan will be held with PhilHealth08 leading, as told to media by Regional Vice President (RVP), Dr. Leo Douglas Cardona, Jr. on March 11, 2019.
According to Cardona, they are set to hold Information Education Campaign (IEC) in rural health units and government hospitals in the region, starting off with Samar Island’s health facilities down to the Leyte provinces.
“However, UHC will not be limited to government hospitals only,” he added. “This is precisely the main focus of PhilHealth8 in particular, to innovate, that private hospitals may soon support or cooperate, after all, it is a law”, Cardona pointed out.
“When President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law, it was his main agendum to provide quality, accessible and affordable health care to all Filipino citizens, thus, invitation is being made to private hospitals,” he added.
UHC grants every citizen eligibility with no ID required as they can access to preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative health service delivery.
‘No Balance Billing’ (NBB) is the word, when a patient can expect non-payment of hospital bills, only to some extent however, because when a patient opts to stay in a private room, that cannot be free of charge,” Cardona stressed.
NBB provides that “no other fees or expenses shall be charged or be paid for, by the indigent patient, above and beyond the “packaged rates” during their confinement period”.
By package rate means that there are certain items provided in the UHC which are granted to direct and indirect members, which is why the team will go around the region to explain UHC to implementers.
Further, UHC adheres to the Magsaysay maxim, that those who have less in life, should have more in law; that in the spirit of solidarity, those who can better afford, will have lesser discounts while the indigent ones would have more.
As to the professional health workers, they cannot be left out, contrary to some apprehensions with the implementation of UHC.
Asked what will happen to some monetary benefits that doctors and nurses used to get, out of their passion and hard work in caring for the sick, Cardona said, they will still receive in order to incentivize them.
“They should stay put in their hospital service and render the much needed health service,” he said.
“Give to Juan what is due him,” the head doctor of PhilHealth said. “Health workers in the rural areas, particularly those in geographically isolated areas will still get additional benefits as may be determined by local health boards, others by DOH.
Cardona detailed to media that funds for UHC implementation will be sourced from the Philippine Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) (50%), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (40%) the rest from members’ contribution and subsidies from sin taxes.
Lastly, he proudly shared that part of PhilHealth8’s innovation is to tie up with Philippine Statistics Office, LGUs and private hospitals soonest. (PIA-08/ANicart)