The Proposal for Free Annual Medical Check-ups (HB No.1785) for Filipinos

HB No.1785 free medical check up

In response to alarming statistics indicating that six out of 10 Filipinos pass away without receiving medical attention, a proactive legislative initiative has emerged. Bicol Saro Party-list Representative Brian Raymund Yamsuan has taken a bold step by introducing House Bill (HB) No.1785. This has been dubbed the proposed Free Annual Medical Check-up Act.

To ensure that every citizen has access to essential healthcare services, Yamsuan’s HB No.1785 bill seeks to provide all Filipinos with free yearly medical examinations.

The Proposal of HB No.1785

At its core, HB No.1785 aims to bridge the gap in healthcare accessibility by mandating the provision of free annual medical check-ups for all citizens. This legislative measure is positioned as a strategic investment in preventative healthcare. It is designed to address the root causes of prevalent life-threatening ailments. Additionally, it hopes to alleviate the burden on the government healthcare system. By prioritising early detection and intervention, the bill seeks to empower individuals to take control of their health and well-being.

Justification for the Measure

Yamsuan’s advocacy for free annual medical check-ups rests on the premise of long-term benefits derived from preventive healthcare interventions. By offering regular check-ups at no cost to the populace, the government can facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. This can avert the progression of potentially debilitating illnesses. Yamsuan also underscores the economic rationale behind this approach, highlighting the potential savings in healthcare expenditures resulting from proactive healthcare interventions.

Key Provisions of the Bill

Under HB No.1785, all Filipino citizens are entitled to free annual medical check-ups as members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) under the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law. These comprehensive check-ups encompass essential tests for cholesterol and blood sugar levels. These serve as critical indicators of cardiovascular health and metabolic function. Moreover, the bill empowers PhilHealth to expand the scope of diagnostic tests covered by the benefit. However, this is contingent upon the available funds allocated.

Implementation and Oversight

The successful implementation of HB No.1785 hinges on establishing a robust infrastructure to facilitate the provision of free annual medical checkups nationwide. This entails PhilHealth developing a streamlined system designed to ensure equitable access to preventative healthcare services for all eligible individuals. Furthermore, strict oversight mechanisms will be implemented to monitor the quality and effectiveness of the check-up program, thereby safeguarding the integrity of the healthcare delivery system.

Addressing Persistent Health Challenges

Yamsuan’s legislative initiative is informed by persistent health challenges confronting the Filipino population. According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), non-communicable diseases such as ischemic heart disease, cancer, and diabetes mellitus continue to take a heavy toll on public health. Yamsuan underscores the urgent need for proactive interventions to combat these preventable ailments. He emphasises the pivotal role of accessible and affordable healthcare in improving overall health outcomes nationwide.

Strengthening Primary Healthcare

In addition to providing free annual medical check-ups, HB No.1785 aims to fortify primary healthcare services across the country. By emphasising preventive measures and early detection, the bill seeks to alleviate the strain on tertiary healthcare facilities. Additionally, it promotes a more holistic approach to healthcare delivery. Consequently, this comprehensive strategy encompasses health education, community outreach, and the integration of primary care into local healthcare systems. Therefore, this will ensure that individuals receive timely and appropriate medical attention at every stage of their health journey.

Collaboration for Success

However, the successful implementation of HB No.1785 hinges on collaborative efforts between government agencies, healthcare providers, and civil society organisations. By fostering partnerships and leveraging resources, stakeholders can maximise the proposed legislation’s impact and ensure its effective implementation nationwide. As the bill progresses through the legislative process, advocates are also encouraged to engage in dialogue, advocacy, and capacity-building activities to support its passage and implementation.

Empowering Health and Well-being

Subsequently, in championing free annual medical check-ups for all Filipinos, HB No.1785 represents a leap towards universal access to healthcare. The proposed legislation lays the groundwork for a healthier, more resilient society. It prioritises prevention, early detection, and equitable healthcare delivery. As lawmakers deliberate on the bill’s merits, it is imperative to recognise the profound impact that accessible healthcare can have on individual well-being, national development, and social equity. With concerted efforts and unwavering commitment, we can realise the vision of a healthier future for all Filipinos.

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