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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Solon calls for free medical checkups to plug service gap

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Rep. Ray T. Reyes of party-list AnaKalusugan has renewed his call for free medical checkups after the World Health Organization (WHO) reported almost 800 million people in the Western Pacific region, including the Philippines, lack full access to basic health services.

“We should take this report seriously. As much as we celebrate the gains of our Universal Healthcare Law (UHC), we should also take note of how we can further enhance our health services to the public,” the lawmaker said.

According to WHO, two in five people in the region still cannot avail at least one essential health service like immunization, pregnancy and newborn care, as well as treatments for communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

“Marami pa po ang hindi naaabot ng ating health services lalo na sa mga kanayunan. The report only reinforces our call to include Free Annual Check Ups in UHC,” Reyes said.

“In doing so we could take great strides in disease prevention, as Filipinos would be encouraged to seek medical advice regularly, reassured that this would not lessen their resources for other equally important expenses such as food and education,” he added.

Reyes had earlier called on the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to include free medical checkups in the amendments to UHC.

He filed House Bill 430, which aims to establish a program that provides Filipinos with free annual check-ups, including but not limited to blood sugar and cholesterol tests.

“Once our free Annual Medical Check Up Bill is embodied in the amendments to the UHC Law, it will help institutionalize programs like the PhilHealth’s Konsulta Program and provide better care to Filipinos,” Reyes said.

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