- The DOH plans to provide basic checkup to 20 million poor Filipinos by Christmas
- This will include beneficiaries of the National Household Targeting System of the DSWD
- After the basic checkup, more advanced procedures like surgery will be announced at a later time
The Department of Health (DOH) plans to provide free basic medical checkups to approximately 20 million poor Filipinos by Christmas.
This “early Christmas gift” was officially launched as part of the new administration’s universal healthcare program that will roll out until December 25 according to DOH Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial.
“The first 100 days is the check-up. That means our goal is to really look into who are listed in the National Household Targeting System of the [Department of Social Welfare and Development] and to get to all those individuals,” Ubial explained to GMA News.
Maintenance medicine will be readily available while other advanced procedures, including surgery, will be set for a later date.
“Kung sino ho ang makitang may further need, diagnostic, kailangan ng CT Scan, MRI, kailangan operahan, yun po ay gagawin natin in the immediate future. [Whoever has any further needs, diagnostic, needing CT Scan, MRI, needing surgery, those will be done in the immediate future.] But the drugs and medicine, these are now available. As soon as the patients are detected in our check-ups, they will be provided the maintenance medicine,” she added.
The free checkups are meant to ensure that diseases such as Vitamin A deficiency, hematologic conditions, and renal problems, are detected as early as possible.
“So ang nangyayari, really, and we’re seeing this, dadating ‘yung pasyente, kasinglaki na ng ulo ‘yung bukol. Sana nakikita pa lang na maliit, naooperahan na. [So what happens, really and we’re seeing this, the patient comes and the lump is already as big as the head. It should have been that it was detected when it was small so it would have already undergone operation]… We hope by December 25 we can announce to all of you that we have attained that goal of providing a basic checkup to the 20 million poorest Filipinos,” she told Rappler.