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Free maintenance medicines for hypertensive, diabetic patients in 2016—DOH

Hypertensive and diabetic patients nationwide may avail of free maintenance medicines for their illnesses from the DOH regional rural health units (RHUs) starting January 2016, according to the Department of Health on Friday.

Photo by aloisiocostalatge (Public Domain)
In a press briefing held at the DOH Media Relations Unit in Tayuman St., Sta. Cruz, Manila, DOH Secretary Janette L. Garin said 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 belong.

Garin said 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 on  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 level.

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 controlled.

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. (PNA)

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