The Universal Health Care (UHC) Law will protect every Filipino from the risk of financial burden in seeking medical treatment.
Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, presidential assistant for the Visayas, said the national government’s health care program will “give citizens access to the full continuum of health services they need, while protecting them from enduring financial hardship as a result,” during his keynote speech at the launch for the implementation of the UHC Law in Cebu on Thursday.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Governor Gwendolyn Garcia signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) shortly after announcing the official start of UHC program in the province, in a ceremony at the Cebu Provincial Capitol’s social hall.
Duque said during the press briefing that the UHC implementation in the province will be done in a progressive scheme.
The implementation here will focus first on assessing and capacitating every level of health-care facilities in the towns and cities in the province.
With the UHC program, Dino said Cebuanos now have two-pronged health-care assistance from the national government, the other one being the Malasakit Center.
Last month, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Malasakit Center Law which bill was sponsored by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go in the Senate.
Dino lauded the Duterte administration for making Cebu “one of the UHC integration sites in the country.”
“I would like to congratulate the Department of Health headed by Secretary Duque for the efficient implementation of the Universal Health Care Law with its implementing rules and regulations signed last year in October and I believe congratulations are also in order for Secretary Duque for having the highest awareness and performance rating among Cabinet members for 2019,” he said.
Dino said the President has observed that many of the poor have been avoiding medical treatment because of financial constraints and many turn to self-medication or consultation from quack doctors to avoid having to pay huge amounts for the doctor’s fee and hospital bills.
This malady, he said, has resulted in increasing morbidity rate over the years.
“Both the Universal Health Care Law and the Malasakit Center Act will work to the people’s advantage. We are lucky to have such a strong-willed President and I’m sure that we all feel his sincerity that is why he has the highest trust and public approval ratings at 83 and 87 percent respectively in the last quarter of 2019,” he said. “And it gives me pleasure knowing that the people here in the Visayas have seen and felt this administration’s programs and initiatives which gave the President a 93-percent performance rating in Visayas for the same period.”
Malasakit Center’s pilot site was launched by Duterte in February 2018 at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center here.
The Malasakit Center in Taguig-Pateros District Hospital is the 57th center in the whole country as of this writing. (PNA)