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Tulfo proposes bill to institutionalize medicine system in PH
Tulfo proposes bill to institutionalize medicine system in PH
Tulfo proposes bill to institutionalize medicine system in PH
by Mhillen Nicole Borja23 February 2023
Photo Courtesy: Senate of the Philippines.

Senator Raffy Tulfo filed a bill seeking to promote and institutionalize a national telemedicine system in the Philippines through information and communication technology.

This was to resolve the existing problem of the country's access to basic healthcare services.

"Out of the 582,183 registered deaths in 2016, 342,705 or 59.2 percent were unattended by a physician, public health officer, hospital authority or other medical personnel, while 236,904 or 40.5 percent were medically attended," he wrote citing the Philippine Statistics Authority report.

Under Senate Bill 1883, or "Telemedicine Act," the government is mandated to encourage and strengthen initiatives for promoting health in times of emergencies and calamities using technology with the following objectives:

  • Create an innovative, unified, and comprehensive policy framework for the practice and development of telemedicine in the country.
  • Provide healthcare services, including consultation, diagnosis, treatment, and prescription of medicines, especially in inadequate or far from traditional healthcare institutions and professionals.
  • Allow the use of information and communication technology to deliver healthcare services, especially in emergencies and disasters.
  • Strengthen the health system and infrastructure of the country, which will enable it to serve all Filipinos and withstand any unforeseen events.


The National Telemedicine Council must be established and composed of:

  • Secretary of Health, who shall serve as Chairperson;
  • Secretary of Information and Communication Technology;
  • Secretary of Science and Technology;
  • Secretary of the Interior and Local Government;
  • President of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation;
  • Director-General of the Food and Drug Administration;
  • Presidents of healthcare professional associations such as the Philippine Medical Association, Philippine Nurses Association, and the Philippine Pharmacists Association; and
  • Director of the Office for Telemedicine

The function of the council is to establish guidelines and regulations on the practice and provision of services; create a national roadmap for the achievement and furtherance of the objectives of this act; establish a national integrated database system for medical information; and develop a plan for electronic prescription of medicine.

They will also capacitate and train existing and new healthcare professionals on providing health services and set quality standards for systems, professionals, and services.

Telemedicine is defined as the 'method of seeking professional medical help using technologies and devices such as smartphones and computers to gain information regarding their health status remotely'.

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