Healthcare act covers all Filipinos


The healthcare measure was pending for months in the Senate, but President Rodrigo Duterte has now certified its passage into law as urgent.

The law mandates that all Filipino citizens will automatically be enrolled in the national health insurance programme of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) whether they are classified as direct contributor (those who have the capacity to pay premiums) or indirect contributor (those sponsored by the government like the indigents, senior citizens, among others).

The law expands the PhilHealth cover to include free consultation fees, laboratory tests and other diagnostic services.

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will also automatically be included in the PhilHealth cover.

Much local medical tourism is built around overseas workers coming home for treatment. This may increase that traffic as the new act does not cover planned treatment overseas. Many Filipino workers in the Gulf already have local compulsory health insurance that pays for local treatment but not planned treatment overseas.



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