diabetic patients nationwide to get free maintenance medicines starting
January 2016 --DOH
By Leilani S.
MANILA, Dec. 11 (PNA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday
that starting January 2016, hypertension and diabetic patients nationwide
may avail of free maintenance medicines for their illnesses from the DOH
regional rural health units (RHUs).
In a press briefing held at the DOH Media Relations Unit in Tayuman St.,
Sta. Cruz, Manila, DOH Secretary Janette L. Garin said that essential
medicines needed for control of hypertension and diabetes can be received by
people suffering from such illnesses upon registering with the DOH
Hypertension and Diabetes Club in the RHUs of Regional Offices where they
According to Secretary Garin, the RHUs in the regional offices of the DOH
will furnish the list of the patients that will be joining the club to the
Central Office so that a data base can be formed.
“This intervention will help facilitate risk assessment of community members
and ensure regular follow-up of diagnosed hypertensive and diabetic
patients… Patients needing them that will be in our data base will be
receiving the medicines starting January 2016,” she said.
To be part of the DOH Hypertension and Diabetes Club, a patient needs to
consult the nearest health center or primary health care facility to undergo
assessment, screening and management.
Initially, the program was launched in Pampanga last Dec. 9, wherein
participants with hypertension and diabetes health problems were registered.
Diagnosis will be made by barangays health workers (BHWs) in the RHUs. To
ensure that BHWs can help in the monitoring and assessments, they are
provided with Blood Pressure Apparatus and Glucometer sets to measure sugar
Once diagnosed, the patient will be enrolled in the club.
As a benefit, the patients can have access to DOH drugs for hypertension (Losartan,
Amlodipine, Metroprolol) and diabetes (Metformin).
As members, the patients will be included in the activities that promote
healthy lifestyle so that their blood pressure and sugar level can be
The DOH wants to ensure that members of the club will be pro-active in
ensuring prevention of complication of their illnesses
The program will be initially available among the poor sectors of the
community and seeking preventive check-up in the RHUs.
However, patients seeking consultation in private health facilities who have
various maintenance medicines and having a lot of out-of-pocket expenditures
may also join the club and avail also of free maintenance medicines.
Poorest patients needing insulin medicine for their diabetic condition will
also be given access.
The program is part of the DOH effort in upgrading facilities and services
nationwide in line with the goal of bringing the Universal Health Care
Program or “Kalusugang Pangkalahatan” Health Agenda of the Aquino
Administration to the Filipino people.
At present, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) does
not cover the provision of free maintenance medicines among patients with
hypertension and diabetes.
With this program that will be in place next year, more patients suffering
from chronic illness conditions are expected to benefit as they will not
only have regular medicines but at the same time can also be influenced to
do their part in maintaining healthy lifestyle or preventing their
conditions to aggravate.
Diabetes and hypertension are also classified as chronic diseases.
According to Secretary Garin, unhealthy habits such as smoking, physical
inactivity, alcohol abuse, and unhealthy diet lead to hypertension and
“In order to fight it, it is important to practice healthy lifestyle choices
early,” she said.
She stressed that early detection and care using cost-effective and
sustainable health care interventions that are integrated in primary health
care facilities are essential. (PNA)