Proposed free yearly medical check-up for Filipinos okayed by House panel
MANILA, Philippines — The House committee on health approved Wednesday a proposed measure that would provide free annual medical check-up for Filipinos.
In an online hearing, the committee passed the substitute bill to House Bill No. 4092 or the “Free Annual Medical Check-Up Act of 2019” filed by Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor.
Under the proposal, the free yearly medical check-up covers all Filipinos and shall include blood sugar and cholesterol tests, which can still be expanded subject to the funds of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
If approved into law, the duration of availing the free medical check-up shall be for the whole calendar year.
During the online hearing, Defensor underscored that high blood cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the Philippines.
Defensor likewise said the Philippines ranks 5th behind China, Indonesia, Japan, and Thailand in the number of diabetes cases.
Citing the Western Pacific Region and the International Diabetes Federation, an umbrella organization of over 230 national diabetes associations, diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death among Filipinos based on the 2013 Philippine statistics.
“In the long run, our small initial investment in providing free annual testing for blood sugar and cholesterol levels would mean [fewer] expenses for the government in the future,” Defensor said.
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