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Freedom froj ‘out-of-pocket’ medical expenses sought

June 12, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 77 views

A LAWMAKER on Monday expressed belief that the country’s Independence Day celebration should inspire lawmakers to craft and improve laws that will give Filipinos freedom from the financial burden of out-of-pocket spending for healthcare services.

“Today we are celebrating our independence and this should inspire us lawmakers to craft laws that would free Filipinos from out-of-pocket medical expenses,” Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Ray T. Reyes said.

Reyes bemoaned a recent study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) which showed how Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) members still pay out-of-pocket for medical services despite the Universal Health Care law.

In its December 2022 study, PIDS said the elderly, women, rural and poor Filipinos are more likely to spend more, with the national health insurance program coverage limited to 40 percent of total hospital costs.

“Malaking ginhawa po ang ating UHC law ngunit marami pa tayong dapat gawin para lalo pa itong mapabuti,” he said.

“I for one will continue to push for additional taxes for sugar sweetened beverages not only to help fund UHC but also to promote healthier lifestyle among Filipinos,” he added.

Apart from crafting laws in congress, Anakalusugan Partylist continues to bring healthcare access closer to people in underserved areas.

Recently, Anakalusugan partnered with local government units in Batangas to vaccinate senior citizens and other vulnerable sectors against Pneumonia.

An estimated total of 1,000 beneficiaries availed of the Anti-Pneumonia vaccination drive in the towns of Laurel, Balete, Sta. Teresita, Malvar and Nasugbu.

“Anakalusugan Partylist continues to do what it can to bridge the gap in health services and partner with the government and other volunteer organizations to bring healthcare services wherever these are needed,” Reyes said.