JUNE 19, 2013

NR # 3139

Angara wants to give free medical and dental service to children
Senator-elect Juan Edgardo Angara will push for the passage of a bill in the Senate that will require the giving of free medical and dental service to indigent children. The former congressman from Aurora province introduced House Bill 462 in the 15 Congress.

Angara said the measure mandates all hospitals, medical centers, clinics, dental clinics and other institutions that provide frontline medical and/or dental services throughout the country to give free medical treatment and free dental healthcare to indigent children. According to Angara, the bill aims to stop the rampant practice of certain hospitals to deny street children their right to medical treatment and dental healthcare. “We should put an end to such practice by providing a law that would require both private and public hospitals and clinics to render free medical and dental services to indigent children,” Angara said. He said only through a concrete legislative measure can the government fully realize the principles and policies sought to be effected by various laws protecting children’s rights. Angara added that the bill is in line with the State’s evolving agenda on defending the rights of the child. Indigent children, as defined in the bill, are those below 18 years old who have no means of support or whose parents or guardians have no means of providing for their immediate medical and dental needs. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Health (DoH) shall be the lead agencies in the implementation of this act. The DSWD shall determine if the child is indeed an indigent while the DoH shall coordinate with the implementation of the free medical and dental services to indigent children. Though Angara said he wanted to penalize hospitals/medical institutions that would violate the requirements indicated in this measure, he did not include a penalty clause in House Bill 462. (30) sb

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