The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance providing free maintenance medicines to indigent city residents and appropriating funds for the said purpose.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Benny Bomogao stated that the grant of free maintenance medicines shall cover all indigent city residents who are in need of maintenance medicines for them to be able to sustain their good health condition.
The ordinance added that the city government, through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), shall issue a medical card to all qualified indigent residents in need of maintenance drugs.
Further, the CSWDO shall formulate the guidelines for the qualification and procedures for the issuance of the aforesaid medical card to the indigent city residents.
On the other hand, the City Health Services Office (CHSO) shall facilitate the procurement and dispensing of the maintenance medicines to any qualified indigent resident holding a duly issued medical card.
Moreover, the CHSO shall conduct free regular checkup to those qualified indigent residents who will be availing of the free maintenance medicines.
According to the proposed measure, the CHSO in coordination with the CSWDO shall conduct home visitation checkups to those residents who will avail of the free maintenance medicines, especially to those who are bed ridden.
The ordinance empowers the CHSO to formulate the guidelines for the procurement and dispensing of the maintenance medicines.
The ordinance stipulates that the funds needed to sustain the implementation of the measure shall be taken from the general funds of the local government.
The ordinance defines maintenance drugs prescribed to treat chronic, long-term conditions and are taken on a regular, recurring basis.
Article 2, Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.
Article 13 declares that it is the responsibility of the State to adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to help development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost.
However, there shall be priority for the needs of the under-privileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women and children. More importantly, the State shall endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers.