DOH eyes inclusion of oral health package in Universal Health Care services

DOH eyes inclusion of oral health package in Universal Health Care services

MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – Oral health care services will soon be part of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) package under the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law to improve the oral health of Filipinos.

This was confirmed by Department of Health-Center for Health Development in Ilocos Region (DOH-CHD-1) regional oral health manager Dr. Mark Jason Mina in a forum hosted by the Philippine Information Agency-Ilocos on Friday.

"Two weeks ago, we had a consultative meeting and it is being processed by PhilHealth. Hopefully, it will be implemented within the year," he said.

Once implemented, Filipinos will be able to avail of basic oral health care services such as tooth filling, among others, in government health centers or hospitals for free.

In the Ilocos Region, Mina said the oral fit indicator for its population is only at 41 percent, with 10 percent growth quarterly.

However, he clarified that data do not include those from private practitioners.

"This doesn't mean that the residents are unhealthy. It’s just that our data is lacking but we are asking the private practitioners to share their data since data management is part of the UHC Law," he added.

In the same forum, Mina said they are emphasizing the importance of oral health care in the overall health of a person since proper oral care contributes to disease prevention and healthier nutrition for the digestive system.

The most common oral diseases in the region are tooth decay, gingivitis and some recent cases of oral cancer.

"Visit your dentist and brush (your) teeth every after meals. Maintain a balanced diet for healthier gums, teeth, and oral cavity. Avoid vices such as smoking, vaping, and alcoholism," he said.

Mina said DOH has been providing oral health care services in different caravans such as the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair and Lab for All, among others. (PNA)


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