MANILA — The country’s professional boxers will soon enjoy free medical check-ups in certain government hospitals, Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Ubial said Tuesday.
“The Department of Health wants all Filipinos to have annual check-ups. So whether you are a boxer, or other professionals, wala kang trabaho (if you are unemployed), farmer, fisher folk, lahat ng Filipino dapat may check-up (all Filipinos should have check-ups). We are here to provide these services to the Filipino people, so why not to boxers,” Ubial said after signing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairperson, Baham Mitra) on giving professional boxers free medical exams.
The health chief said funds from the Medical Assistance Program (MAP) will be used to give boxers free medical check-ups, similar to that offered to soldiers and other key populations.
Mitra noted that 1,054 professional boxers are expected to benefit from the program.
The GAB and the boxers, he said, have agreed to ask the current administration to provide CT scans and MRI to boxers whose earnings are less than the minimum wage.
“This is definitely a big help to the professional boxers and their families,” he said, pointing out that professional boxers are required to undergo and pass medical exams prior to the approval or renewal of their boxing licenses.
Under the MOA, all applicant and current professional boxers will be given free CT scans, MRI, X-Ray, EEG, drug test, Hepatitis C and HIV screening, neurological clearance, eye examinations and other services at the Philippine Heart Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKI), Lung Center of the Philippines, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center.
Ubial said the health department will also help boxers get PhilHealth benefits so they could avail of the government’s health care services.