Universal Healthcare lacks P74-B allocation - DOH chief


Posted at Oct 16 2019 01:11 PM | Updated as of Oct 17 2019 01:42 PM

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MANILA — The implementation of a law aiming to provide health services to all Filipinos lacks around P74 billion in funds for next year, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Wednesday.

The total shortfall for the Universal Healthcare Act is some P95 billion, but the health department expects to get around P21 billion from gaming regulators and the charity sweepstakes office, he said.

"So P74 billion pa ang kukulangin... Ang unang implikasyon nito ay hindi natin mapapalawig ang primary care benefit package," he told radio DZMM.

(This means we still lack around P74 billion. The first implication of this is we will not be able to expand the primary care benefit package.)

The law, the implementing rules of which were signed last week, aims to strengthen lower-level facilities like barangay and district health centers so patients need not go to already crammed hospitals, said Duque.

Under the measure, all Filipinos will also be automatic members of state insurance corporation PhilHealth as direct or indirect contributors, and shall be eligible to no-balance billing once admitted to basic or ward accommodations in hospitals.
Due to the funding deficit, the UHC pilot areas will be reduced to 10 in Mindanao, 8 in visayas, 13 in Luzon and 2 in Metro Manila, said Duque.

DZMM, October 16, 2019