Hypertension and diabetes is one of the biggest threat in the health of Filipinos with the poor struggling to acquire maintenance drugs for these illnesses, the Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines is giving away free maintenance medicines to Hypertension and Diabetic patients as part of DOH’s continuing effort in upgrading facilities and services nationwide through its Universal Health Care Program or “Kalusugang Pangkalahatan” Program of the Aquino Administration.
In a press briefing at the DOH Media Relations Unit in Tayuman St., Sta. Cruz, Manila, Department secretary Janette L. Garin announced that starting this coming January 2016, patients suffering from hypertension as well as diabetes or both can start having a free supply of maintenance medicine for these illness from the regional rural health units (RHU) across the archipelago provided that patients should have their names listed and registered under the DOH Hypertension and Diabetes Club at the DOH regional health office where they belong.
To become part and be registered in the club, patients should go to their nearest health center or the nearest healthcare facility of their community to be assessed and screened. This procedure will be in the participation of their barangay health workers armed with the proper tools and equipment such as BP apparatus to measure blood pressure and glucometer to determine the patient’s blood sugar levels. After the assessment and is found to have met all the requirements and criteria to be part of the program, the patient will then be enrolled to the club.
Members of the club will then have access to DOH drugs for hypertension such as: Losartan, Amlodipine and Metoprolol and Metformin for diabetes. While having these privileges, club members are included in activities to promote a healthy lifestyle to control their blood pressure and blood sugar levels. In addition to that, members are urged to become proactive in ensuring prevention of complication of their illness.
The primary target of the program as those living in the poor communities where patients or their families doesn’t have accesses or doesn’t have the capabilities to acquire these medications. However, patients who seek medical advice from private health facilities can also avail the free maintenance medication program of the DOH as long as they meet all the necessary requirements which fortunately does not include the patient’s status in life, so in all angles the program is dedicated to every Filipino who suffered from these illnesses. Also, the poorest patients that requires insulin to control their diabetes are all given priorities as well.
The program had already launched initially in Pampanga last December 9 where participants diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes or both are registered to the program. It will gradually become available in all other regions in the country next month and primarily roll out in the poorest sector in the community and having preventive check-ups within the RHU’s.