The Department of Health (DOH) has estimated and proposed a total of PHP 182 billion (USD 3.6 billion) for the first year of the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law. The UHC was signed into law in February 2019 while the rules and regulations were released in October last year.
According to the agency, about 40% of the budget will be allocated to enroll all Filipino citizens into the National Health Insurance Program as well as programs that aim to improve the country’s health system in fighting viral diseases like the coronavirus. PHP 50 billion (USD 1.1 billion) will be allotted for the enrolment to the NHIP while PHP 20.89 billion (USD 418 million) will be allocated for virus-response or pandemic-related programs.
Second in the DOH’s priorities are health-related law items on cancer, HIV-AIDS, and health and nutrition programs for the first 1000 days of children which will get a PhP 35.11 billion (USD 702 million) budget. Third is for other urgent and compelling needs such as tuberculosis and rabies control programs to be funded with PHP 37.83 billion (USD 757 million) while the department will carry on with PHP 35.1 billion (USD 702 million) in operating expense fund.
(Sources: CNN Philippines; Inquirer)