Home Health Philippines Push for Free Annual Medical Checkup Act

Philippines Push for Free Annual Medical Checkup Act

Philippines Moves Towards Universal Healthcare

MANILA – A groundbreaking bill has been filed in the House of Representatives that could revolutionize healthcare in the Philippines. The proposed Free Annual Medical Checkup Act, also known as House Bill (HB) 1785, aims to provide every Filipino citizen with a free annual medical checkup and ensure access to preventive healthcare.

Under the bill, all Filipino citizens, by virtue of their membership in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) as mandated under the Universal Health Care Law, would be entitled to the applicable benefits under the Philippine Health Insurance Program. This move is expected to have a significant impact on the health and well-being of the population.

Representative Brian Raymund Yamsuan, co-author of the bill and a member of the Bicol Saro Party-list, highlighted the importance of preventive healthcare in reducing the burden of diseases that are preventable and treatable with cost-effective interventions. Despite the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law and other advancements in the Philippine health care system, many Filipinos still suffer from diseases that could have been avoided.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the leading cause of death in the country as of September 2023 was ischemic heart disease, followed by neoplasms (cancer), cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and pneumonia. Shockingly, a separate report revealed that six out of 10 Filipinos die without receiving any medical attention.

The Free Annual Medical Checkup Act seeks to address these issues by providing cholesterol and blood sugar tests as part of the free annual checkup. Furthermore, the bill aims to expand laboratory and diagnostic tests, subject to the availability of funds.

Rep. Yamsuan emphasized that the bill aims to promote the right to quality healthcare services for every Filipino and prevent disease, disability, and death. By offering free annual checkups to all citizens, the government hopes to detect health issues early on and provide timely treatment, ultimately reducing the prevalence of life-threatening ailments such as diabetes and heart disease.

The proposed legislation represents a significant step towards achieving universal healthcare in the Philippines. By ensuring that every citizen has access to preventive healthcare measures, the government hopes to improve the overall health of the population and reduce the burden on the healthcare system in the long run.

If passed, the Free Annual Medical Checkup Act would be a game-changer for the Philippines, demonstrating the government’s commitment to the well-being of its citizens. It would not only save lives but also lead to substantial cost savings by preventing the progression of diseases that would otherwise require expensive treatments.

As the bill moves forward, it is expected to generate extensive debate and discussion among lawmakers and stakeholders. The outcome of these deliberations will shape the future of healthcare in the Philippines and determine whether the country can truly achieve the goal of universal healthcare for all its citizens.