Bill seeks free medical services for women health problems

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A BILL that seeks to provide free medical and hospitalization services to poor Filipino women with gynecological problems and other female-related health conditions has been filed in the House of Representatives.  

House Bill 5243 or the proposed Women’s Medical and Hospitalization Benefits Act filed by Las Piñas Rep. Camille A. Villar seeks to cover the expenses of indigent Filipino women suffering from “women’s diseases.” 

“Granting free medical treatment and hospitalization benefits to indigent women is in consonance with the Constitutional provisions that recognize the need for such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential,” Ms. Villar said in a statement on Thursday. 

The bill defines women’s diseases as reproductive organ cancer, breast cancer, pregnancy-related illnesses, and injuries due to violence inflicted on women. 

To qualify, the patient must secure a certification that she is indigent and suffering from a female-related disease from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, according to the bill. 

Beneficiaries may either be employed or have a monthly income not exceeding P5,000. 

A provision in the bill provides that a special ward for these patients must be established in all provincial and district hospitals, with funding to be sourced from the Department of Health’s annual budget.   

“Women’s health and welfare is of paramount importance considering that women constitute half of the country’s population and women’s health and well-being affect the health of the next generation,” Ms. Villar said.  

The bill aims to expand the coverage for indigent beneficiaries provided under the National Health Insurance Act of 2013, according to the lawmaker’s office. — Kyanna Angela Bulan