SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House Committee on Health, chaired by Rep. Angelina Tan M.D. (4th District, Quezon), convened on Wednesday for the first time this 18th Congress and passed five priority national legislations that aim to address various health concerns in the Philippines.
These proposals re-filed by incumbent House Members were based on bills approved on third and final reading during the 17th Congress.
House Bill Nos. 163, 169, 197, 251, 391, 436, 532, 862, 1190, 1339, 1392, 1563, 2120, 2200 and 2682, which were based on HB 9156 of the 17th Congress or the proposed “Comprehensive Renal Replacement Therapy (RRT) Act,” seek to provide a comprehensive RRT for patients with end stage renal disease, in all government hospitals and increase the PhilHealth package rate for the RRT of its members.
Aside from making RRT readily available for the Filipinos, the proposals aim to support kidney transplantation as the best treatment option that provides the highest quality of life for these patients and ensure their return to full rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, HBs 1365, 1492, 1502, 1902, 2004 and 3022 were based on HB 9155 of the previous Congress or the proposed “Department of Health Hospital Bed Capacity Rationalization Act” which seek to authorize the DOH to set and approve the bed capacity of all their hospitals.
The bills seek to streamline the process of approving changes in the authorized bed capacity and naming of all DOH hospitals in the country.
Also approved were HBs172, 437, 1451 and 3078 which were adopted from HB 9068 of the 17th Congress and intend to expand the coverage of the Mandatory Basic Immunization Program and provide a system in the determination of other types of vaccine-preventable diseases.
The bills seek to amend Republic Act No. 10152, otherwise known as the “Mandatory Infants and Children Health Immunization Act of 2011.”
The list of vaccine-preventable diseases shall be expanded to include vaccination for Rotavirus, Japanese Encephalitis, Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
Likewise, HBs 688 and 2037 were based on HB 1530 of the 17th Congress, and they seek to require all government agencies to indicate the blood type of individuals in their identification cards, certificates and licenses.
The bills aim to facilitate medical treatment, while ensuring the safety of patients, especially in the transfusion of blood during medical emergencies.
Also approved were HBs 168, 440 and 2728 which were based on HB 9202 of the 17th Congress or the proposed “Overseas Filipino Workers Hospital (OFW Hospital) Act.”
The bills seek to provide comprehensive and total health care services to all migrant workers who are Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) contributors, whether active or non-active, including their dependents.
Apart from conducting the medical examinations of would-be overseas workers, the common proposal is for the OFW Hospital to serve as the primary referral hospital for repatriated OFWs who are in need of medical assistance and support.
After approving the aforementioned bills, the Committee also passed 10 local bills that were approved on third and final reading in the 17th Congress.
The legislators then held initial deliberations on the measures seeking to institutionalize Malasakit Centers in all localities to fast-track the granting of medical assistance to Filipinos.
House Members present during the hearing include Deputy Speakers Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. (2nd District, Camarines Sur), Ferdinand Hernandez (2nd District, South Cotabato) and Aurelio Gonzales Jr. (3rd District, Pampanga), as well as Committee Vice Chairmen Michael Defensor (Party-list, ANAKALUSUGAN) and Elpidio Barzaga Jr. (4th District, Cavite), among others.| Molie Gonzales, News and Documentation Section-Press and Public Affairs Bureau/ House of Representatives of the Philippines