PhilHealth offers detox package for drug users

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 December) – The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) started offering its “Medical Detoxification Package” for drug users.

In a presentation Tuesday at the Lispher Inn, PhilHealth-Davao public relations officer 2 Kleah Gayle Dublin said that patients of drug abuse, particularly those using methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) or amphetamine-related abuses, may avail of the P10,000 assistance that covers professional fees and hospital fees.

She said PhilHealth will also cover expenses for the co-morbidity conditions associated with substance abuse, which include, psychosis, ischemic heart disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, stroke, seizures, acute renal failure, and gastrointestinal disorder.

She said detoxification package covers only the first stage of the rehabilitation of drug-abuse patients that addresses the “toxic and withdrawal manifestation” of the process.

She said this is considered the critical stage where the patients are being prepared for long-term drug treatment.

“Based on the studies of PhilHealth, ang paggamit sa drugs naay addictive effects and dependency. Brain is being targeted, so there are chemical and molecular changes in the bran. The end-part is it will cause severe damage to memory and emotion, the reason why drug users are very much related to crimes,” she explained.

Citing figures from the Dangerous Drugs Board, Dublin said there are around 1.8 million drug users in different levels of addiction in 2015. At least 90 percent were shabu users.

She said the package is PhilHealth’s contribution to the war on drugs of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

She clarified that the funds used for this new package comes from the contributions to PhilHealth.

Patients who want to avail of the package must secure a doctor’s recommendation, she said.

“The doctor who will recommend the detox package for this package may have criteria,” she said.

She encouraged private rehabilitation centers to have themselves accredited with the Philhealth.

“The package may be availed in accredited hospitals and Drug Abuse treatment and Rehabilitation Centers licensed by DOH and accredited by PhilHealth. Only the facility can file for the claim,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)