Duterte signs the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights has praised the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to sign the measure increasing penalties for hospitals that decline to administer initial medicinal treatment in emergency or serious cases.

“We recognize that its passage advances every Filipino’s right to health or more specifically, broadening theduterte signs anti hospital deposit law access to urgent or emergency health services – guaranteed both in domestic laws and international conventions,” the commission said in a statement.

“Equality and non-discrimination are fundamental human rights principles and critical components of the right to health,” it added.

The CHR said making it unlawful to demand any deposit as an essential for administering basic emergency care to any patient is an important protection to ensure that no patient is being discriminated against based his or her financial status.

“The commission supports the government in enacting concrete legislation that provide people better access to decent and adequate health facilities and services,” said the human rights body.

“The passage of Republic Act 10932 shows the current administration’s political and moral will to address the issue of healthcare, and does take cognizance of basic human rights concerns of Filipinos. The CHR commends the authors of the new law, as well as the President for signing it, affirming the State’s obligation to uphold everyone’s right to health,” it added.

Addressing concerns raised by private hospitals, the commission said it hopes that the government, hospital associations and patient support groups will achieve an agreement to sustainably implement the law to serve the best interests of the public.

“Faithful to its mandate, the commission, despite these positive developments, will continue to be proactive and vigilant in both monitoring the developments of rules and regulations for Republic Act 10932, as well as in pushing for other bills that would lead to a better healthcare system for the country,” the commission said.

“It is our hope that our legal and policy frameworks continue to include the protection of rights that would lead to a life of wellness and dignity for all,” it added.

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