By Hannah Torregoza
Former Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said he is glad that the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will be shouldering the hospitalization expenses of COVID-19 positive patients, which he said is in fulfillment of the mandate of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act.
In a statement, Ejercito lauded PhilHealth over its announcement promising to continue providing financial coverage to COVID cases through a recomputed case rate, “due to the novelty and the wide range of severity of the disease in the country.”
As of now, PhilHealth has no existing case rate or package based on accepted protocols for COVID-19.
“At times of crisis, it is good to know that every Filipino is equipped with the necessary tools to survive and recover,” said Ejercito, the primary author of the law which was passed last March 2019.
Ejercito recalled that when the UHC Act was crafted, lawmakers sought to ensure an inclusive health care system that would cater to the basic needs of Filipinos.
They also considered the possibility that the law will support contingency measures such as the current national health emergency arising from the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Though the UHC (is being put to a) test during these trying times, we are relieved that it has served one of its purpose. COVID-19 knows no social status—it does not discriminate between rich or poor,” Ejercito said.
Ejercito also commended PhilHealth for continually providing medical security in times of crisis.