PhilHealth coverage on drug treatment, rehab lauded

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

FORMER Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) vice chair, Lawyer Paul Oaminal considers as a brilliant idea of including in the PhilHealth coverage the drug treatment and rehabilitation.

The challenge of having drug dependents rehabilitated has not been properly addressed for decades. For last year alone, only around 2,000 drug dependents underwent treatment and rehabilitation. This pales to the 1.7 estimated drug users in the country.

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The move in the inclusion of drug treatment in the PhilHealth coverage comes from Vicente Sotto former DDB chairman and a senatorial candidate.

The reason why people complain that only poor drug addicts are being arrested is because the affluent ones are in the rehab centers, while the poor ones remain in the streets.

“I have personally seen the frustration of parents who wants their son’s or daughter’s rehabilitated but cannot do so, on the ground that they could not afford to pay the fees in rehab centers,” said Oaminal.

The move of Senator Sotto would cure the problem, and we need a senator to do the job, for it would take a law to include rehabilitation in the PhilHealth coverage.

This is an idea out of the box, which will hit the nail in the head. The move is complemented by the creation of the Bureau of Drug Abuse Treatment.

Presently the Department of Health is undermanned to the address the huge problem of drug treatment, it is mandated by law to administer all the government rehabilitation centers with only few personnel, said Oaminal.

He said the creation of the bureau would give the department focus on the mandate as it is “pro-poor legislative program and a socially-relevant agenda that needs to be supported.”

Oaminal also shares the slogan of the former DDB chairman, “that the day we stop buying is the day we stop selling”, just imagine if we could just rehabilitate one half of the estimated drug dependents, the drug business would crumble and they will definitely close shop.

Oaminal has been unceremoniously dismissed by the President for unknown reasons but vows to continue with his vision of a Drug-Free Philippines.

Oaminal said he may have lost the post, but he has not lost the duty saying, “Drug-Free Philippines, My Duty, Your Duty, Everybody’s Mission.” (George M. De La Cruz)

Philhealth coverage drug treatment rehab lauded

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