The Provincial Government of Davao de Oro through the Provincial Health Office recently conducted an orientation about Universal Health Care (UHC) Law to the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) of the 11 municipalities held at Prosperity Hall, Nabunturan DdO on July 29, 2022, to see to it that the constituents receive the best health care possible that is equitable for all. 

The UHC act, also known as R.A. 11223, was signed into law by Former President Rodrigo Duterte last February 20, 2019. One of the goals of this legislation was to make PhilHealth membership mandatory for all Filipinos which assures that everyone has the access to quality and affordable healthcare they require wherever or whenever they need it.

During the orientation, Governor Dorothy Gonzaga emphasized the importance of implementing the reforms that are embodied in the law, which would bring positive changes in the health care system in every municipality. She points out that LCEs must realize those reforms to ensure that every individual is protected from health risks, ensure equitable access to high-quality, low-cost healthcare as well as save them from financial risks. She also encouraged all the LCEs to further improve the Rural Health Units (RHUs) or Health Centers (HCs) of the respective municipalities by getting accredited with PhilHealth and Department of Health (DOH) so that it could be an avenue for the constituents, especially the less fortunate individuals, indigenous peoples, and vulnerable populations, to easily claim such benefits when emergencies arise. 

In a statement of Christopher Molina, the Local Health Insurance Head of PhilHealth Nabunturan, says that through the PhilHealth Point of Service under the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP), the patients identified as financially incapable by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction will get health subsidies from the national government. This indicates that they are also protected by the No Balance Billing Policy, which states that disadvantaged or indigent patients are not permitted to be charged any further fees beyond the package rates. 

“Sa mga dili kabayad, naa ta mga social worker kada provincial hospital nga mag-assess kung Indigent or disadvantage. As long as mupasa siya sa social worker nga ‘incapacity’ gyud sya ug dili kabayad, automatic covered sya sa PhilHealth. Walay obligasyon ang LGUs sa pagbayad kay ang mu-cover sa mga pasyente kay ang national government na through point of service,” Molina said. 

Governor Gonzaga added that the Mandanas Ruling opens the door for Local Government Units (LGUs) to provide better service delivery to its constituents and through the collaborative efforts of LGUs in realizing the reforms and visions of the UHC law, the constituents will receive the best health care services in the province. (Jaynus Fernandez – Information Office, Photos by Jonie Cadiz)

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