PhilHealth package set for drug dependents

THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)-Davao Region Wednesday, December 7, bared its new Medical Detoxification Package for members who are drug dependents effective Tuesday, December 6.

Based on PhilHealth Circular Number 0030-2016, the package covers the initial and acute stage of drug treatment with a package rate of P10,000 for the provision of mandatory medical detoxification services.

The effectivity of the new package starts Wednesday, as it marked the 15th day after the circular published publicly last November 21.

Philhealth Public Relations Officer Kleah Gayle Dublin told reporters Wednesday the main goal of the new package is to address the toxic effects and withdrawal manifestations “in a scientific, safe and comfortable manner.”

“This is our way of supporting the Duterte administration,” she said, during the agency's “Handog Pasasalamat 2016” at Lispher Inn, Juna Subdivision, Davao City.

The package, she said, includes physical, mental and neurological exams, urine test, complete blood count, blood sugar, serum, creatinine, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram, and other services needed as suggested by the physician.

Dublin explained that drug rehabilitation component is not covered in any PhilHealth package before as it only focuses on illnesses.

Asked where the agency will get the fund for the new package, Dublin was quick to add that it will be sourced from the current PhilHealth budget.

“We have enough fund for this package,” she said.

Who can avail?

The medical detoxification package can be availed by all eligible PhilHealth members and dependents of the National Health Insurance Program in a one-time benefit availment scheme.

“For one to avail this package, one must have at least a three-month contribution in PhilHealth, that is equivalent of P600,” Dublin said.

The Medical Detoxification Package may be availed in accredited hospitals and soon in Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers licensed by DOH and accredited by PhilHealth.

Dublin said they are working on accrediting rehab centers in the country.

“PhilHealth shall ensure the provision of the minimum standards of medical interventions to safely manage the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use through a medical detoxification package,” she added.

She said co-morbidity conditions associated with amphetamine abuse like hypertensive crisis and stroke will be paid in a separate package.

But Dublin said medical detoxification should not be seen as the lone treatment to drug addiction.

“Medical detoxification must be implemented together with the collaborative and the concerted efforts of pertinent agencies that shall address the challenges of drug addiction in terms of the personal, health and societal aspects of drug rehabilitation,” she said.

In 2015, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency data showed there are 1.8 million drug users in the country.

But President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the extent of the drug problem in the Philippines is beyond imaginable at more than three million drug-involved personalities.
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