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AnaKalusugan party-list calls for expanded PhilHealth coverage to include cardiac rehab programs

AnaKalusugan Partylist nominee Ray Roquero underscored the need to expand the coverage of the Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) to include rehabilitation programs for patients with heart conditions.

“We always hear that prevention is better than cure, yet, in our health coverage we barely include preventive medical measures” Roquero said.

“And for those with heart conditions, rehab sessions cost a lot. PhilHealth must be more responsive to the needs of our kababayan, most of whom can ill-afford to see a doctor, much less undergo therapy,” he added. Roquero said the inclusion of preventive care such as free medical check-ups, which the party-list has pushed for in Congress, can largely help in eliminating the top three causes of death in the country.

“Including preventive measures in the PhilHealth packages will help prevent the three top causes of death in the country. What is Universal Health Care for if we cannot even provide this very basic thing?” Roquero said.

In 2021, the Philippine Statistics Authority logged over 56,000 deaths due to ischemic heart disease.

This indicated an increase of about 17.4% from the previous year’s 48,000 deaths.

Cerebrovascular diseases, which also saw an increase in volume, came in second, accounting for 30,000 deaths, followed by cancer that took over 27,000 Filipino lives.

Members of the Philippine Heart Association are also seeking for an expanded coverage for cardiac rehabilitation programs under PhilHealth.

PHA Advocacy chairperson Richard Henry Tiongco II said PhilHealth’s subsidy is only limited to the patient’s days of confinement at the hospital, while the remaining thrice-a-week-sessions of rehabilitation program expenses are covered by the patient.

Tiongco added that rehabilitation starts the road to recovery and revitalization, adding that after a heart attack, one must undergo rehab at once.

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February 14, 2022
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