Health Secretary Francisco Duque III

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III led the signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act.

Present during the event were officials of the Health Department and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) as well as lawmakers who played crucial roles in the passage of the law in the 17th Congress.

The IRR will pave the way for the implementation of the UHC law that ensured holistic health care for all by reorienting health care towards health promotion and preventive care from a curative care focused system.

Each Filipino will be assigned to a primary care provider who shall be the first contact of health care.

Primary care providers will deliver free essential health services and will guide patients through the different health care facilities.

All Filipinos will also be automatic members of PhilHealth as direct or indirect contributors and shall be eligible to “no balance billing” once admitted to basic or ward accommodations in hospitals except in cases of catastrophic diseases like cancer.

Parang sumakay ka ng eroplano kung economy ka, sagot ng PhilHealth ang ticket mo. Kung gusto mo mag-business class o mag-first class o yung talagang very comfortable ka na lahat ng amenities nandyan, di na kakayanin ng PhilHealth,” Duque said.

Duque, however, admitted the expanded benefits mean an increase in PhilHealth premiums.

Nasa UHC law ang premium tataas ng increments of .25%. Ito ang pinakamababang increase kung ihahambing sa mga GSIS and PAG-IBIG. Ito ang pinakamababa pero pinakaramdam.

PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales gave his assurance that the agency can still be trusted with the public’s money despite the ghost claims controversy that hounded the agency. He cited the internal reforms he implemented since he headed Philhealth.

“We’re doing everything to keep your money safe,” Morales said.

DOH Undersecretary Mario Villaverde who chairs the sub task force that wrote the IRR said the IRR went through a series of consultations in Metro Manila, North and South Luzon, the Visayas, and North and South Mindanao. (Jasper Camilo)