Senator Sonny Angara has called on the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to expand its primary care package to include preventive and promotive health services such as check-ups and laboratory tests.
“Check-ups and lab tests can detect diseases early when they may be easier to treat. Sa tulong nito, mas maaagapan ang posibleng paglala ng karamdaman. This would also encourage Filipinos to have a healthier lifestyle with less out-of-pocket expenses,” Angara said.
Currently, PhilHealth offers a primary care benefit package called Tamang Serbisyo sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya or “Tsekap” but only to indigents, sponsored members, and overseas workers and their qualified dependents, in identified government and private healthcare facilities.
Under the package, qualified beneficiaries can avail of the following services and diagnostic examination: medical consultations, regular blood pressure and body measurement, breast examination, complete blood count, urinalysis, fecalysis, risk profiling for heart diseases and diabetes, chest x-ray, eye, ear and dental examination, among others.
The beneficiaries can also get free medicines from accredited drug outlets for the following medical conditions: asthma, acute gastroenteritis, upper respiratory tract infection, and urinary tract infection.
“We commend PhilHealth for giving priority to the poorer sectors but such primary care package should be available for all. Ito po ang layunin ng universal healthcare – na siguruhing ang bawat Pilipino ay may kakayahang magpa-check-up at magpagamot nang hindi iniisip ang gastusin,” said the veteran legislator, one of the authors of the Universal Health Care Act or Republic Act 10606.
The seasoned lawmaker is also the sponsor of the law that will make the sale of drugs and medicines prescribed for diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension exempt from value-added tax (VAT) starting next year.
The youthful senator joined the hearing on bills enhancing the current Universal Health Care Law held in Cebu City.
He has likewise filed Senate Bill 1673 wherein all Filipinos will be automatically covered under the National Health Security Program.