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Will Filipinos have access to FREE annual medical check-ups soon?

Will Filipinos have access to FREE annual medical check-ups soon?

Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they even begin. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, you are taking steps that help your chances of living a longer, healthier life. But here in the Philippines, poor families cannot afford medical check-ups.  They do not seek medical care even they are sick already, let alone for the sake of prevention.

Photo from PIA website

To promote the health and wellness of the Filipino people

The House Committee on Health just approved a bill seeking to provide free annual medical checkups for Filipinos. During the virtual hearing, the panel OKs the substitute measure for House Bill 4093 or the proposed Free Annual Medical Checkup Act. Anakalusugan party-list  Representative Mike Defensor authored this bill. He said, “The recently-passed Universal Health Care Law highlights the importance of primary healthcare in promoting the health and wellness of the Filipino people. One of the aspects of primary healthcare is preventive care under which medical checkups fall and includes physical examinations and diagnostic tests.”

Photo by Michael Varcas of Philippine Star

The early version of the bill stated a free annual medical checkup. It includes diagnostic and laboratory tests for complete blood count, urinalysis, stool analysis, chest x-ray, and complete physical exam. Defensor explained that the expense of these two tests per person is less than PHP 500. He added that the coverage is still open for expansion depending on the capability of the agency in the future. Allegedly, monitoring these key indicators “would significantly reduce mortality and other allied medical expenses.”

Photo by Noy Morcoso of Inquirer PH

Mike Defensor emphasized the importance of this bill by saying, “In the long run, our small initial investment in giving free annual testing for blood sugar and cholesterol levels would mean fewer expenses for the government in the future.” The bill will be up for deliberation and consideration at the plenary.  We still have to wait for this bill’s implementation.

We do hope that this bill will help our fellow citizens who cannot afford annual checkups. This is the kind of bill that we need now, especially now that there are several health risks. Do you agree?

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