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Quicker delivery of Philhealth benefits to OFWs pushed

05 April 2016

Risa Hontiveros (Photo by Frederick Suarez).
Overseas Filipino workers would get Philhealth refunds for their hospitalization expenses more quickly under a plan being proposed by senatorial aspirant Risa Hontiveros.
Hontiveros, a former director of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, explained her plan in a dialogue between Liberal Party candidates Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo, and OFW leaders in Hong Kong last April 3. 
“Mahirap na nga magkasakit, mas mahirap di hamak na magkasakit nang malayo sa pamilya. Kung maari nga itulak natin ang reciprocal arrangements sa mga bansa na may OFW para kilalanin ng kanilang mga ospital ang Philhealth discount para agad-agad nang idededuct," she added.
As long as the OFW is updated in their Philhealth records, they can avail of Philhealth benefits However, many OFWs find the process cumbersome. 

Hontiveros also said she will help simplify the process of Philhealth reimbursements for OFWs who find themselves hospitalized in their host countries. 
"Ten million na mga Pinoy ay nasa ibang bansa, higit two million ang OFW. Sa panahon ngayon na laganap ang mga sakit gaya ng Zika Virus, kailangan ng dagdag na tulong pangkalusugan," Hontiveros.
She said many OFWs hold precarious jobs with no or minimal health insurance.Many are also undocumented and cannot access social protections in their host countries. "Yung mga may regular employment contracts, or agency-hired, walang problema. Pero madami pa din na bulnerable na dapat tulungan. Halimbawa, sa Middle East, kung tumakas sa amo dahil siya ay hinaharass, wala siyang residency ID na mapapakita at hindi siya basta-basta makakapunta sa ospital kapag may sakit.” 
Hontiveros said she will also push for satellite clinics in embassies and consulates to provide assistance during pandemics. "Ang abot kaya at dekalidad na serbisyo medikal ay dapat makuha ng bawat Pilipino -- saan man sa mundo," she said
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