Noynoy, Mar target universal health care for all Pinoys
By Delon Porcalla
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party (LP) presidential bet Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and his running mate Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II promised to expand the coverage of health insurance to all Filipinos by 2013 if they win in the May 10 elections.
Roxas said this would be among the “priority projects” of an Aquino-Roxas administration to give ordinary citizens easy access to quality healthcare, along with better education, economic growth and job creation.
“We have a program called universal healthcare, which means that all of our countrymen will have better and easier access, and work as well for increased benefits of state health insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corp.,” he said.
Aquino assured the poor and elderly that they would have access to professional healthcare.
Quality health care for the public has been severely affected because it is the politicians who decide who should be the beneficiaries of PhilHealth, which runs counter to the original intent of Republic Act 7875, or the National Health Insurance Act of 1995.
Roxas revealed that PhilHealth covers less than 40 percent of our people.
“That’s wrong because this is taxpayers’ money. Our people should have access to PhilHealth. All people should be equal especially as regards health care.”
Universal coverage would be funded by the national budget through premium payments to PhilHealth. “This is very important for us. We will exert all our effort and focus on this advocacy.”
Providing universal health coverage for all Filipinos would be one of the most effective means to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. This goes hand-in-hand with the implementation of the Cheaper Medicine Law, which he primarily authored, he said.
“That is our program. Experts on finance and public health have conducted a study about it and their finding was that in three years, we can give 100 percent coverage to all Filipinos,” Roxas added.