Health cmte mulls VM Rodriguez’s free med check-up proposal
The City Council committee on health, nutrition, and health insurance chaired by Councilor Maria Lourdes S. Gaane is now thoroughly studying the proposed ordinance that will provide for free annual comprehensive medical check-ups and laboratory exams in public hospitals or laboratories in Cagayan de Oro.
City Vice Mayor Jocelyn B. Rodriguez, author of the proposed ordinance, cited that RA 11223 or the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act provides that all Filipinos are guaranteed equitable access to quality and affordable health care goods and services, and protected against financial risk.
She said the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the said law directs LGUs to enact stricter ordinances that will strengthen and broaden existing health promotion policies and programs.
Vice Mayor Rodriguez debunked comments of some city officials that her proposal is a duplication of the city’s existing health programs, citing that no one opined that her proposal is contrary to existing laws and the constitution.
The vice mayor explained that a policy is different from a program. “Government programs must be supported with a policy. All programs of the LGUs must be anchored upon an ordinance,” she stressed.
SCHEDULE OF FREE ANNUAL CHECK-UP
The vice mayor clarified that in her proposed ordinance, the City Health Office (CHO) in coordination with the Barangay Health Workers shall prepare an annual medical check-up schedule for all residents.
For her part, City Health Officer Dr. Rachel Dilla commended Vice Mayor Rodriguez for the proposal, saying that the Department of Health (DOH) UHC program really needs a policy to be implemented. “Exactly, we really need policies for this,” she said. While lauding the vice mayor, Councilor Aga Suan said that in order to strengthen implementation of the program, there should be a policy backing it.
Councilor Gaane referred the proposed ordinance to the City Legal Office for its legal opinion and plans to invite PhilHealth representative during its next meeting for further discussion.