DOH plans to include drug detox program in PhilHealth coverage

  • DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial said that a two-week drug rehabilitation program might be included in PhilHealth’s coverage
  • The DOH secretary said that the department has yet to discuss the exact coverage costs with PhilHealth
  • Ubial noted that the DOH was considering the use of both medicinal and non-medicinal detoxification programs

MANILA, Philippines – As a move in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s current war against drug, a two-week drug rehabilitation program might be included in PhilHealth’s coverage.

Pia Bonalos mentioned in an article for CNN Philippines that the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Ubial revealed the news on Thursday and added that it would be the most cost-effective program the Department of Health (DOH) could provide.

The DOH secretary said that the department has yet to discuss the exact coverage costs with PhilHealth.

“Unfortunately, hindi kakayanin ‘yung [it cannot cover the] prolonged residential services which can take six to twelve months. So ‘yung ipapasok natin sa [the program we will include in] Philhealth is acute phase, which lasts up to two weeks,” she said.

During the acute phase, patients receive active but short-term treatment for their condition.

Ubial noted that the DOH is considering the use of both medicinal and non-medicinal detoxification programs.

She mentioned that medical treatment might be more expensive compared to providing counseling, psycho-social support, and debriefing.

In the Senate, Senator Tito Sotto filed Senate Bill No. 8, which directs PhilHealth to include drug addiction treatment in its services.

The government earlier revealed the plans to build rehabilitation centers across the country.

Ryan Ponce Pacpaco mentioned in an article for Journal Online that Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Isidro Lapeña revealed that at least 673,978 drug dependents, including 44,839 pushers have surrendered from July 1 to August 22, 2016.

Lapeña revealed the numbers during the briefing conducted by the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs chaired by Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers last August 29.

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