TACLOBAN CITY: The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is considering including in its coverage a benefit package for drug dependents under rehabilitation.
PhilHealth Eastern Visayas regional vice president Walter Bacareza said the plan is in response to the growing number of drug dependents surrendering to authorities after the government launched an anti-drug war.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Eastern Visayas data showed that more than 7,000 drug suspects have surrendered since July 1.
The PNP acting regional director, Chief Supt. Elmer Beltejar, has urged local government units (LGUs) drug users.
He noted severe effects of illegal drugs on some users who needed to be confined in a rehabilitation facility and not just given counseling and community-based treatment.
Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Minerva Molon said while there are local government officials who have initiated rehabilitation activities, it was not enough, especially for those patients under severe stage of addiction.
Molon said they will meet with local mental health workers trained after Typhoon Yolanda to help in the assessment of illegal drug users.
Of the provinces and cities in the region, only Southern Leyte and Ormoc City have concrete plans to set up drug rehabilitation facilities.
Eastern Visayas has one DOH-run rehabilitation facility located in Dulag, Leyte, which will reopen in September this year with only a 100-bed capacity.