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Senate passes Universal Health Care bill
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Senate passes Universal Health Care bill

October 11 ------ Passage by the Senate of the Universal Health Care bill is a giant step in equalizing health service delivery for all Filipinos. This was stressed yesterday by opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros after lauding the passage on third and final reading of Senate Bill No. 1896, known as “The Universal Health Care (UHC) Bill,” which seeks to expand the country’s health care infrastructure to make health care available to all.

The bill was principally authored by Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, a member of the Senate majority bloc and chairman of the Senate health committee. Hontiveros, who is a co-author and co-sponsor of the bill, said the passage of the measure is “a giant leap forward in closing the gap between the rich and poor on the access and delivery of quality and affordable health services in the country.” “This is a giant step in our effort to equalize health care service delivery for all Filipinos. Its universal fulfillment is a step towards eradicating inequality,” she explained.

Hontiveros said the bill would have a significant, lasting and profound effect on the health of every Filipinos as it closes the economic, class and gender gaps in the delivery of healthcare systems in the country. The bill mandates that all Filipinos, especially the poor, are afforded adequate health coverage, access to a network of facilities and quality services. The measure also guarantees equal access to quality and affordable health services for all Filipinos and institute changes in the operations of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to enhance the delivery of benefits to all Filipinos. It covers free consultation, laboratory tests and other diagnostic services that are beneficial to Filipinos, especially the poor and the marginalized.