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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, November 28, 2019
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‘NOCHP backs universal health care’


The Negros Occidental Health Care Program (NOCHP) of the provincial government appears to be staying, despite the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) program.

NOCHP, which is now on its ninth year, offers zero billing to its 321,953 member-families, upon admission to government hospitals managed by the provincial government of Negros Occidental.

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, who assisted Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) in the distribution of NOCHP cards to new members in EB Magalona and Victorias City, said yesterday that NOCHP may pay for medicines recommended by doctors, following discharge from government-managed hospitals.

Under the UHC, all Filipinos will be automatic members of PhilHealth as direct or indirect contributors, and shall be eligible to No Balance Billing once admitted to basic or ward accommodations in hospitals.

Lacson said they are also studying if NOCHP can help with the burial expenses of indigent Negrenses.

At present, the office of Benitez is giving burial assistance to indigent Negrenses in the 3rd district, and the program started during the stint of Alfredo Benitez as congressman of the district.

A total of 5,126 members of NOCHP yesterday received their cards in a series of ceremonies held in cities of Victorias and Silay, EB Magalona and Murcia, which were also attended by their respective mayors, and other local government officials.

Of the new beneficiaries, 1,756 are residents of Victorias City, Silay City – 1,458, Murcia – 1,212 and 700 in EB Magalona.

Of the 498, 746 patients province-wide since 2010, Lacson reported that 131,129 of them came from the 3rd district of Negros Occidental.

As of Sept. 30 this year, Lacson said that the amount of medical benefits extended to patients already reached P303.2 million, of which P80 million was the share of the 3rd district.

Mayor Marvin Malacon said yesterday that the NOCHP cards received by 700 more Saraviahanons was an early Christmas gifts for them.

Malacon also acknowledged the burial assistance being extended by the office of Rep. Benitez and Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano.

Benitez, meanwhile, said he and the provincial government will continue to implement such health program, because it helped a lot to Negrenses.*


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