DOH: Universal Health Care law not affected by PhilHealth status

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Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Friday the Universal Health Care law would continue regardless of what will happen to state insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corporation ().

“Whether or not ma-privatize or public [pa rin] ang PhilHealth, hindi matitigil ang pagpapatupad ng law,” Vergeire said in an online forum.

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(Whether the PhilHealth becomes private or remain public, the implementation of UHC law will continue.)

Senator Vicente “Tito”  III earlier revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte is considering abolishing or privatizing health insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

Duterte approved last month the senate’s recommendation to file graft case, malversation of public funds, and other cases against PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales and other agency officials connected with the alleged corruption – which could have reached P100 billion.

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Still, Vergeire said the controversy surrounding PhilHealth would not get in the way of Universal Health Care law.

“Wala pong sinabi na hindi na ito maipapatupad dahil lang nagre-restructure ang ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno,” she added.

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: Universal Health Care law not affected by PhilHealth status

(No one said that it could not be implemented just because other government agencies were restructuring.)

Likewise, the Health Department also supported including mental health expenses under the Universal Health Care law coverage.

“We only have one health care worker for 100,000 individuals. We want to change this, and we want to make quality mental health care services accessible,” Vergeire pointed out.

“Kaya kaisa po kami ng WHO (World Health Organization) in pushing for highest standards of mental health care and well-being at maisama ang mental health [sa coverage ng] UHC,” she added.

In March 2019, Duterte signed a Universal Health Care (UHC) Bill into law (Republic Act No. 11223) that automatically enrolls all Filipino citizens in the National Health Insurance Program and prescribes complementary reforms in the health system.

“This gives citizens access to the full continuum of health services they need while protecting them from enduring financial hardship as a result,” the World Health Organization said.

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