VP Binay to implement Yellow Card program as nat’l health agenda

MANILA, Philippines — United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer Vice President Jejomar C. Binay vowed to implement a universal health care program in the country.

Binay said no one should die of sickness because of poverty and this can be done by implementing nationwide Makati’s Yellow Card program as an expansion of the PhilHealth program and spending at least 5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in healthcare services.

“Naniniwala akong dapat walang mamamatay sa sakit dahil sa kahirapan kung kaya’t doon nakaangkla ang ating health agenda,” Binay said.

“We will establish a comprehensive health care system anchored on primary care, which is promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative; and provide free medical services for indigents and senior citizens,” Binay added.

The Vice President said he will implement nationwide Makati’s Yellow Card program which was recognized by the United Nations-Habitat as one of the world’s best practices.

The Yellow Card program provides free maternal, child and elderly care; free outpatient consultations and medicines, and government-subsidized hospitalization, on top of PhilHealth benefits.

“Isang layunin ng Yellow Card program ay mabawasan ang mga out-of-pocket expenses ng mga mahihirap,” Binay said.

Data from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) showed that that Filipino households still carry most of the spending burden for health care, despite total spending for health care increasing by 11.7 percent year on year to PHP526.3 billion in 2013.

Private out-of-pocket spending accounted for 56.3 percent of the total or some PHP296.5 billion. Meanwhile, each Filipino spent P5,360 for health-related expenses in 2013 — a 9.8 percent increase from PHP4,881 per capita expenditure recorded in 2012.

The UNA presidential candidate also said that he will spend at least 5 percent of the country’s GDP for healthcare services, which is in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations.

“Makakatulong ito upang makapagbigay ang pamahalaan ng libreng medical treatment sa mga seryosong sakit tulad ng leukemia, prostate cancer, at iba pa na kailangan ng pangmatagalang kalinga. Tutugunan din nito ang pagpondo sa Yellow Card program,” Binay said.

He added that he will address the 3.5 doctors per 1,000 population ratio to the ideal 1.5 doctors for every 1,000 population by increasing the benefits for health workers, nurses, midwives and their families, aside from implementing the Doctors to the Barrios program.

Binay said that he will also establish and rehabilitate hospitals, clinics, evacuation centers, and put up health centers in every barangay.

He added that he will work for a 1:1 ratio of one rural health worker for every health center, aside from giving free medicines and services for indigents in the center. PNA/northboundasia.com