DOH plans to include drug rehab in PhilHealth coverage

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(File photo) Tanauan drug suspects surrender to authorities.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — A two-week drug rehabilitation program might become included in PhilHealth's coverage, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said on Thursday.

Ubial said this would be the most cost-effective program the Department of Health (DOH) could provide — in line with the Duterte administration's campaign against illegal drugs.

She said the DOH was yet to discuss the exact coverage costs with PhilHealth.

"Unfortunately, hindi kakayanin yung prolonged residential services which can take six to twelve months. So yung ipapasok natin sa Philhealth is acute phase, which lasts up to two weeks," she said.

In the acute phase, patients receive active but short-term treatment for their condition.

Ubial said the DOH was looking at both medicinal and non-medicinal detoxification programs. She said medical treatment might be more expensive compared to providing counseling, psycho-social support, and debriefing.

Senator Tito Sotto earlier filed Senate Bill No. 8, which mandates PhilHealth to include drug addiction treatment in its services.

The government also said plans to build rehabilitation centers across the country were on the table.

Also read: Mental health to be a DOH priority