Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Secretary Francis Tolentino yesterday expressed hope that the National Healthcare Bill will become a law by the end of the year after it was certified urgent by President Duterte.
“Ngayong na-certify na ito as urgent, hindi po ako magtataka kung maging batas na ito ngayong taon,” said Tolentino during a meeting with senior citizens at the Premier Medical Center in Cabanatuan City.
He urged the public and local authorities to give their feedback to help improve the bill and make it attuned to the present needs of Filipinos.
“Kung mayroon pa po kayong panukala na sa palagay ninyo ay dapat idagdag sang-ayon sa mga napag-usapan, idagdag po natin,” Tolentino said.
Once the National Healthcare Bill becomes a law, Tolentino said it will be a big help to senior citizens all over the country.
During the meeting, some senior citizens aired their grievances to Tolentino, a former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman and mayor of Tagaytay City.
Fiscal Danilo Yang, chairman of Juan Novo Ecijanos Tapang at Malasakit, Inc. and Kilusang Pagbabago Nueva Ecija, mentioned the difficulties of senior citizens in availing healthcare in public hospitals and the lack of awareness on their privileges and rights.
“Sabi ni Presidente (Duterte) when you go to government hospitals dapat wala kang babayaran. But then again, these people (senior citizens) are naive. They don’t know their rights,” Yang said.
Yang added that some doctors take advantage by telling patients to avail certain services and buy medicines outside public hospitals, and give the receipts to the doctor.
Tolentino, for his part, promised to bring their concerns to the attention of President Duterte.