• Makati increases budget for free medicine program

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    The Makati City government has increased the budget for its Free Medicines Program to P900 million from P600 million for this year to defray the cost of medications needed by the beneficiaries of its Makati Health Plus (MHP) or Yellow Card program.

    The program started in 2013 with an initial budget of P59 million.

    As of this year, the Free Medicine Program has more than 230,000 beneficiaries, including senior citizens, persons with disability, city government employees and other active MHP members.

    Mayor Marlen-Abigail “Abby” Binay urged the city council to increase the budget for the free medicine program “to ensure that it would be sustained with adequate funds throughout the year.”

    The City Council approved the budget increase in April.

    The program provides medicines for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cardio-vascular diseases, dyslipidemia, enlarged prostate, gout, cough and colds, sexually transmitted infections, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, seizure disorder, allergy, ulcer, vertigo, gastro-intestinal problems among others. It also provides free multivitamins for children, adults and pregnant patients, as well as oral and injectable contraceptives.

    “We want our beloved Makatizens to worry less about expenses for [the]maintenance medicines so [that]they could enjoy a better quality of life,” Binay said.

    In July, the Makati Action Center (MAC) made door-to-door deliveries of free maintenance medicines and vitamins worth around P7.2 million to some 4,099 senior citizens aged 70 and older and bed-ridden beneficiaries.

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