MAGUINDANAO -- Here's some good news for poor Filipinos: Starting 2017, the Department of Health (DOH) will provide free hospitalization and medicines to the indigent, jobless and the senior citizens.
Health Secretary Pauline Rosell-Ubial made the announcement on Saturday, saying the budget for health services have been increased to cover the hospital needs of the poor.
"Basta Pilipino ka lang, covered ka na ng PhilHealth. Kailangan lang ma-identify 'yung mga mahihirap o indigent for sponsored program kasi sa sponsored program, no balance billing," Ubial said in a dialogue with medical workers in Maguindanao.
"Yung pangalawa is 'yung Medicines Access Program. Bibili 'yung DOH ng commonly used drugs at 'yan ay ibibigay natin sa mga hospitals," she added.
(As long as you are a Filipino, you're covered by PhilHealth. We just need to identify the poor or indigent for the sponsored program because under this, there will be no balance billing.
Under the Medicines Access Program, the DOH also buy commonly used drugs and distribute these to hospitals.)
The funds for subsidizing these services will come from the additional budget that the DOH requested from Congress, Ubial said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, she added, also allocated P5 billion to cover the medical expenses of indigent non-PhilHealth members.
Ubial also guaranteed that the program will not be affected by the pullout of foreign assistance from the US Agency for International Development which had been in the form of technical assistance and not financial donations.