Changes to Universal Healthcare Act sought 

A HEALTH WORKER at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute pushes a patient in a wheelchair in this Aug. 15, 2021 photo. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

ILOILO Rep. Janette L. Garin on Tuesday said she would push changes to the Universal Health Care Act after budget deliberations, including transferring enforcement to the Health department from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).  

She also said the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) of the Department of Health (DoH) had been given too much power.  

“It is limited to what would be good in terms of economy and usable technology, but the law states that HTAC makes decisions on everything, including the programs of the DoH and PhilHealth,” she added.  

HTAC is an independent advisory body created under the Universal Health Care Act that provides guidance to the DoH and PhilHealth on the coverage of health interventions and technologies to be funded by the government.  

“We have a nice law that calls for universal health care for every Filipino family, but if you look closer there are two ropes that are tightly tied around the hands of doctors, hospitals, and the government,” Ms. Garin said. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo