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PIA Press Release

Social health insurance now covers 70-M Filipinos

Manila (15 February) -- More than 85 percent or 70 million of the country's population are now covered by health insurance, thanks to the expanded value added tax which is funding this very important social service.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the money sourced from EVAT finances health insurance coverage, particularly of indigent families in far-flung communities.

In a speech delivered at the 15th anniversary of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and in the observance of the National Health Insurance Month at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, the President announced that normal child delivery is now covered by PhilHealth insurance.

This, she said, is aimed at encouraging more mothers to give birth at hospitals and ensure that every child born is taken care of by medical practitioners.

The President said she has no regrets in implementing EVAT, no matter how unpopular it is.

"It is the right thing to do to serve the people. Just see all the people now with PhilHealth insurance funded by our EVAT," she said and thanked lawmakers for helping her pass that important bill.

"We have made progress in many areas but more needs to be done. We must continue hands-on governance until we leave office. And I trust that you in PhilHealth will never lose sight of your target of universal coverage," she added.

Dr. Rey Aquino, PhilHealth president and chief executive officer, said the 85 percent Filipino population covered by health insurance is a milestone in social health insurance.

To date, PhilHealth members are entitled to a wide range of benefits including allowances for hospital room and board fees from P300 to P1,100 per day up to 45 days per year; drug and medicines from P2,700 to P40,000 and allowances for X-ray and other laboratory examinations from P1,600 to P30,000 per single period of confinement; use of operating room complex and even professional fees of attending physicians.

Over 1,600 hospitals are now accredited with PhilHealth while more than 20,000 doctors, dentists and midwives are similarly accredited to provide services along quality standards. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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