I think Sen. Mar roxas, you have a very great accomplishment on the very much needed help for the people in the passage of the cheaper medicines' act.
Relative to this, the Honorable Senator MAR may want to consider a National Health Insurance (NHI) coverage for all just like the Taiwan module, I believe their NHI membership is 99% of total populations. The NHI covers everyone, by any hospital, by any doctors. Medicines are also included when a patient consults a doctor for NT$150 (in a public hospital), the patient gets all medication for free. If the patient prefers to go to a private hospital, a consultation would cost about NT$350 to NT$460, inclusive of one month medication, depending on the illness.
How can the government afford this? All employees and employers pay a share for monthly contribution, if one is not employed, he can pay the whole amount of contribution, or he may join an accredited family association to be able to get a discounted monthly premium for the unemployed.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 years ago, and i was lucky to have joined the NHI of Taiwan by paying monthly premium at NT$800 per month at that time. Everytime i see a doctor for cholesterol test, i will undergo blood test, and then go to the doctor for consultation, and will be given lipitor good for 1 month for only a doctor's consultation fee of Nt$380. Anyway, when i was diagnosed with breast cancer, i underwent biopsy, and decided to go for the knife and had my left breast removed. The procedure, the professional'fees for surgeon and anestishologist, medicines, use of medical equipments and icu, and recovery room and a single private room with bathroom - all of it only costed about NT$180,000. NHI paid 70% of the total cost, which is equivalent to NT$126,000. NT$54,000 was on me, luckily i also bought a private accident and hospitalization insurance, and the insurance paid for the balance. In effect i did not spend anything in my operation. And moreover, my monthly follow-up consultations became cheaper, from NT360 to NT$200, inclusive of my tamoxifen good for one month, painreliever, vitamins and dressing of the wound service. Also included in the NT$200, is my regular blood tests, xray, sonogram. Why was my consultation fee reduced to NT$200? it is because the NHI has a classification of illnesses that will qualify a person for discounted consultation fee.
If the Philippine government can pattern our healthcare as such, we will have a universal healthcare that people will forever be thankful. I hope Sen. Mar Roxas can look into this system. I am willing to help gather information and even arrange meeting with Taiwan's NHI officials, so you can better appreciate the program. I am now working in Taiwan and is trying to hold on to my job, because of the Taiwan's National health insurance program. If i lost my job here, and i go back home to the philippines, i am sure my life's savings, which is not much, will be depleted in no time and may not even be enough for my health care. This scenario scares the hell out of me. !