/ 19 October 2022

SENATOR Jose ‘Jinggoy’ Estrada filed a measure that will require all health institutions in the country to extend free services to indigent and street children in need of immediate medical and dental treatment.

The senator said that Senate Bill N1107 or the proposed Indigent Children Free Medical and Dental Service Act will put an end to the practice of hospitals and medical centers of demanding advance payment before treating a patient.

“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 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.

To be covered by the bill are those aged 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 will be mandated to provide free medical treatment and dental healthcare to indigent children.