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New law to make health care available to 1.4 million Pinoy PWDs

THE new law providing mandatory Philhealth coverage for persons with disabilities is an important reform towards “greater social protection and health assistance” for them, and it would benefit some 1.4 million people, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said yesterday.

She said the newly signed law is a “great victory for the vulnerable” as it would help PWDs in addressing their daily struggles and expenses, particularly the cost of medical care.

“We welcome this new law and hope that, through better access to quality health care, the country can better serve the 1.4 million Filipinos living with disability and help them become healthy citizens who contribute to nation-building,” Hontiveros said.

“It is only just for the state to ensure that those faced with unique challenges in their lives, like PWDs, will have more in law and be provided with more protection,” she added.

Hontiveros, who co-authored the measure in the Senate, said the new law would boost the country’s drive towards a progressive, affordable and effective health care system for all, noting that it complements the Universal Health Care Act.

Under Republic Act 11228, “all persons with disability (PWDs) shall be automatically covered under the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth).”

“The Philhealth shall develop exclusive packages for PWDs that will address their specific health and development needs,” the new law reads in part.

Periodic monitoring and evaluation of the law should be conducted by the Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Labor and Employment, the National Council on Disability Affairs, local governments, and other relevant government agencies and non-government organizations.

The DOH must also maintain an updated database on PWDs and their health and development needs.

Local governments, Philhealth, NCDA, and other relevant government agencies are mandated to submit their data on PWDs to the DOH. (PNA)


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