A new law that aims to improve cancer care in the Philippines calls for the costs of cancer screening, genetic counselling, diagnostic and palliative care to be borne by health maintenance organizations and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). The government in consultation with various stakeholders will issue implementing regulations within 90 days of 14 February 2019, when the measure was signed into law.
Highlights of the Law
Measures include the following:
- Expanded benefit packages will be offered by PhilHealth.
- Cancer-related work absences will be compensated by the government’s social security sickness and disability benefits.
- Cancer patients, persons living with cancer and cancer survivors will be considered “persons with disabilities” entitled to the rights and privileges of Act No. 7277, known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.
- The Department of Labor will adopt programs to promote employment opportunities for persons with cancer and cancer survivors. The appropriate government agencies will ensure that people living with cancer and cancer survivors “are free from discrimination in school, workplace and community.”