May 19, 2024

Senators Christopher Go and Sonny Angara are pushing separate measures that aim to provide a free medical check-up to every Filipino each year.

Under Go’s proposed measure, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) shall establish and implement a free annual medical check-up program.

Because they lack the money, many of our countrymen are afraid to consult a doctor. Instead of paying for consultation, they would use the money to food,” Go said in a statement.

The bill would also require PhilHealth to implement a comprehensive outpatient benefit package and identify laboratory and diagnostic tests to be included in the program based on current and emerging health necessities of Filipinos.

Regular medical check-ups, Go said, can help determine potential health concerns before they get worse and would give the best chance of getting treatments to avoid further complications.

Meanwhile, Angara decided to re-file in the 19th Congress Senate Bill (SB) 2297 or An Act Providing for Free Annual Medical Check-up for Filipinos as one of his priority bills.

In his explanatory note of the bill, Angara cited the need to provide another opportunity for Filipinos to access preventive care without incurring additional financial burdens.

“Through this measure, Filipinos – who are automatically members of the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) of the PhilHealth by virtue of RA11223 would be able to access free annual medical check-ups which shall include blood sugar and cholesterol tests,” Angara said.

He added this program, which shall be created and managed by PhilHealth, will not only help Filipinos assess their well-being and address their most immediate health concerns but also hopefully address the growing cost of healthcare in the country.

Angara first introduced the measure on the third regular session of the 18th Congress pursuant to Section 5 of Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Law, a measure he also co-authored.– PNA