Speaker Romualdez orders review of PhilHealth Charter to enhance patients benefits

IN a decisive move to ensure the health and welfare of the Filipino people, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Tuesday directed the House Committee on Health to conduct a through review of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Charter to expand patients’ benefits, including early detection of cancer.

The directive aims at exploring avenues to augment benefits for Filipino patients, emphasizing the need for more comprehensive healthcare coverage.

Speaker Romualdez’s order specifically targets an increase in benefits that would cover at least 50 percent of costs in private hospital wards and the provision of free examinations for the early detection of deadly diseases, such as cancer.

These preventive measures would include critical diagnostic exams like x-rays for lung cancer, mammography for breast cancer, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, among others.

The Speaker highlighted the necessity for PhilHealth to function akin to a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), focusing its resources on safeguarding the health of the populace rather than investing in commercial banks and bonds.

“With substantial annual allocations from Congress and regular contributions from private employees, there is no excuse for PhilHealth to scrimp on coverage. The effectiveness of the Universal Health Care system depends on our ability to provide for our citizens, ensuring they receive the medical attention and preventive care they deserve,” stated Speaker Romualdez.

The directive comes at a critical time when healthcare is of paramount importance, reflecting the government’s commitment to improving health services and making healthcare more accessible and affordable for all Filipinos.

Speaker Romualdez explained that the review seeks to address and eliminate any barriers to quality healthcare, ensuring that PhilHealth’s operations align with the best interests of the people it serves.

The Speaker noted that his call for a review is not just about increasing coverage but also about reevaluating PhilHealth’s investment strategies to ensure that funds are utilized in ways that directly benefit the health and well-being of the Filipino people.

This initiative, he said, underscores the government’s dedication to strengthening the healthcare system, making it more responsive to the needs of its citizens, and ensuring that every Filipino has access to the care they need, when they need it.

With hearing scheduled this Wednesday, the House Committee on Health is expected to collaborate closely with healthcare experts, stakeholders, and the public to craft recommendations that will lead to the enhancement of PhilHealth’s services and the overall improvement of the healthcare system in the Philippines.