By Hannah Torregoza
Reelectionist Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said he was delighted to learn that the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Universal Health Care law is right on track.
Ejercito, who spearheaded the passage of the UHC law, disclosed that the discussion of four main components of the law have already been completed at the Technical Working Group (TWG) level.
These components include the Local Health Systems, Health Financing, Governance, and Regulations and Service Delivery.
With the completion of the preliminaries in the ongoing drafting of the IRR, all Filipinos would soon be able to avail of free access to health care services.
“I am happy because things are going well in the drafting of the IRR,” said Ejercito in a statement.
“As soon as the document is finished and the law is already operational, our people will finally be ‘freed’ from financial stress when seeking primary, curative, and palliative services,” he stressed.
“I hope we can have the IRR by June, or July at the latest,” the senator added.
Ejercito, who is seeking another six-year term in the Senate, said the next stage of the process is the consolidation of the components and refinement of the final draft for approval of the Department of Health (DOH) and PhilHealth.
“Then, the IRR will be published, and that’s it. Mararamdaman na ng taumbayan ang Universal Health Care na ating pinagsikapang maibigay sa ating mga kababayan (the people will finally experience the benefits of having a UHC law that we worked hard for to give to our citizens),” Ejercito said.
Last February, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11223, otherwise known as “Universal Health Care Act.”
The UHC law specifically mandates that all Filipinos are guaranteed equitable access to quality and affordable health care goods and services, and protected against financial risk.
Under the UHC law, he said Filipinos will now be able to avail of free medical check ups and select laboratory tests.
The law also provides automatic coverage for all Filipinos in the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP).
“ Sa UHC, magaan na sa bulsa ang pagpapagamot at palalakasin din ang primary care para sintomas pa lang ay maaagapan na at hindi na lalala ang sakit (Under the UHC, seeking medical consultations would now be easier on the pocket. It also seeks to strengthen primary care to ensure that any illness can be prevented at an early stage and patients will recover better) ,” Ejercio said.