By Liza Soriano
MANILA — Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada has proposed passing a law mandating that all medical facilities in the nation provide free services to underprivileged and homeless children in need of immediate medical and dental care.
Estrada pointed out that even after the Anti-Hospital Deposit law was passed, some hospitals still require upfront payments before providing even the most basic emergency care.
“We should put an end to the 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 and penalize those who will violate such requirement,” he said.
“Only through a concrete legislative measure can we fully realize the principles and policies sought to be affected by the various laws protecting the rights of the child,” Estrada added.
Estrada filed Senate Bill No. 1107 or the proposed Indigent Children Free Medical and Dental Service Act to ensure the rights of all children in the country without distinction and discrimination.
Proposed to be covered in Estrada’s bill are those 18 years old and below who have no visible means of support or whose parents or guardians have no means of providing for their immediate medical and dental needs.
Under the bill, all hospitals, medical and dental centers, clinics, and other health institutions that provide frontline medical services throughout the country will be mandated to provide free medical treatment and dental healthcare to indigent children. (AI/MTVN)