Press Release
February 1, 2019


Senator Sonny Angara said Filipinos will soon have a better chance of survival from life-threatening diseases once the Universal Health Care (UHC) bill, which provides for free medical checkup and other preventive health services, becomes a law.

According to Angara, one of the main proponents of the UHC, preventive services are intended to help people to remain healthy and detect any health-related problems early when they may be easier to treat.

"Magkakaroon po tayo ng libreng check-up at gamot para hindi umabot sa punto na meron tayong iniinom na maintenance medicine. Masama po yun dahil ibig sabihin medyo malala na po ang sakit natin," Angara said.

The UHC bill is now one step closer to becoming a law as it awaits President Duterte's signature after the Senate and the House of Representatives have ratified the measure.

As one of the authors of the UHC bill, Angara pushed for the inclusion of free preventive health services, such as free check-up, laboratory tests and medicines.

According to Angara, giving Filipinos access to preventive health services will reduce hospitalization and improve the health of those with non-communicable or lifestyle diseases long before their conditions become catastrophic.

The UHC bill, he said, would encourage more Filipinos, especially those living in far-flung villages, to get regular medical check-up.

Angara lamented that many Filipinos, particularly those living in geographically-isolated area, were unable to see a doctor in their lifetime.

Since they are used to not having a doctor in their community seeking medical help is usually put off until their condition gets worse and treatment comes too late, he added.

"Ayon sa datos ng Department of Health, 60 percent ng ating kababayan ay hindi nakakapagpakonsulta sa doktor sapagkat masyadong mahal," Angara pointed out. "Takot sila sa reseta ng doktor, takot sila sa mga sasabihin na kailangang bayaran sa botika."

But once the UHC measure is signed into law, Filipinos will have access to appropriate, affordable and quality health services, according to Angara, whose late father, Senate President Edgardo Angara, authored Republic Act 7875 that created PhilHealth in 1995.

Under the measure, all Filipinos shall be automatically included in the National Health Insurance Program and will be entitled to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative health services.

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