Pineda gets birthday wish: Duterte signs Universal Healthcare bill
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Governor Lilia Pineda cheered President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of the the Universal Healthcare bill on her birthday on Wednesday.
“I am happy on my birthday because the Universal Healthcare for the sick is now signed into law,” Pineda said, noting that it is her longtime wish.
She told the 1,500 cancer patients at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center that the law would allow for a National Health Security Program that mandates universal health care coverage and benefits for all Filipinos.
“Now, I am so glad, the national government would be doing what we have done and we are continuously doing here in Pampanga long before when it comes to health care for the indigent families and individual with the implementation of the universal health care. I hope this is more comprehensive when it comes to health care coverage,” Pineda said.
She vowed that the provincial government will shoulder the expenses of cancer patients once their Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) allotment for dialysis and chemotherapy sessions is exhausted by October this year.
Pineda, since 2014, has been implementing a “no balance” billing policy in the 11 district and provincial hospitals of Pampanga, using the “Alaga Ka” program of PhilHealth.
Under her leadership, indigents who are non-Philhealth members are automatically covered by the Point of Care Program (POC), with a total funding of P175 million from 2015 to 2018.
This means that once admitted in provincial hospitals, indigent patients can also avail of the “no balance” billing policy. They are also given free PhilHealth cards, which can also be used by other members of the family if the need arises.
Records show that Pampanga’s 11 provincial district and government hospitals had a PhilHealth gross collection of P3,554,813,419.06 or a net income of P1,362,413,069.90 from 2014 to 2018.
From 2010 to 2018, the provincial government spent P2.01 billion for the health program, benefitting thousands of Kapampangan families and individuals. (PNA)
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