The recently-approved Universal Health Care Law will be implemented as soon as its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) is released by June or July.
Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, principal author of the law, said that he is very encouraged with drafting of the IRR.
He said that the main components of the law — local health systems, health financing, governance, and regulations and service delivery— have already been completed at the technical working group level.
“I am happy because things are going well in the drafting of the IRR. As soon as the document is finished and the law is already operational, our people will finally be “freed” from financial stress when seeking primary, curative, and palliative services,” Ejercito said.
“I hope we can have the IRR by June, or July at the latest,” he added.
Ejercito, principal author of the Senate version of the law, said the next stage is the consolidation of the components and refinement of the final draft for approval of the Department of Health and PhilHealth.
“Then, the IRR will be published, and that’s it. Mararamdaman na ng taumbayan ang Universal Health Care na ating pinagsikapang maibigay sa ating mga kababayan (The Universal Health Care, which we worked hard for, will now be felt by Filipinos),” Ejercito said.
In February, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the UHC act into law.
The law makes all Filipinos members of PhilHealth, either as direct or indirect contributors, providing immediate eligibility and access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care for medical, dental, mental and emergency health services.
It encourages the private sector to be implementation partners to provide Filipinos improved benefit packages that will reduce their out-of-pocket expenses. (By Filane Mikee Cervantes, PNA)