The proposed OFW hospital bill was approved by the House of Representatives on its final reading. The main objective of the bill is to create a specific hospital for OFWs and their dependents or families. 180 representatives gave affirmative votes to the House Bill 9194.
The author of this bill is Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The main objective of the bill is to provide the Overseas Filipino workers and their families a hospital facility with specialty care and departmentalized clinical services. This is to address the increasing number of OFWs suffering from mental and physical health issues.
With the approval of the HB 9194, the government gives assurance that OFW will have a hospital that can offer a tertiary level of care. The full operation of the facility will be supervised and administered by the Department of Health.
The OFW hospital will provide the following services:
- Provide comprehensive health care services to all OFWs, OWWA members (both active and non-active), and their legal beneficiaries
- Serve as the main referral hospital for deported OFWs that need medical assistance
- Conduct medical tests and evaluations for those applying for work overseas to ensure mental and physical capability.
- Monitor the patient’s condition and collect health information that can help in creating hospital policies.
- Participate in other health care provider networks and activities related to the Universal Health Care Act or RA 11223.
It is also included in the bill that the DOLE Secretary must ensure to implement the existing medical assistance programs and benefits. With this, the OFWs can expect for subsidies on medical procedures and hospitalization expenses as well as their qualified dependents.
The OFW Hospital will have a Joint Executive Oversight Committee that will evaluate and recommend the developmental plans of the hospital and ensure that all the services will be implemented. The chairman of the committee will be the Secretary of DOLE and Secretary of DOH. The Secretary of Health will appoint the members after consultation with the DOLE Secretary.
The funding of the OFW hospital will be included and generated from the General Appropriations Act. The DOH along with OWWA, POEA, DOLE, and other stakeholders are assigned to create the IRR for the implementation of the Act.
According to Rep. Aniceto Bertiz of the ACTS-OFW party list, the approval of the OFW hospital is a success for all the OFWs.