PhilHealth coverage for PWDs ‘victory for the vulnerable’

MANILA -- A senator said Tuesday the new law providing mandatory PhilHealth coverage for persons with disabilities (PWDs) is an important reform towards greater social protection and health assistance for them.

In a statement, Senator Risa Hontiveros 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, a co-author of the measure in the Senate, said the new law could 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 law reads.

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 (NCDA), local government units (LGUs), 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.

Meanwhile, the LGUs, PhilHealth, NCDA, and other relevant government agencies are directed to submit their data on PWDs to the DOH.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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