ANAKALUSUGAN medical mission serves close to 1,000 patients in Antique Rep. Reyes calls for inclusion of dental and optical services in UHC
“If the number of beneficiaries here is any indication, PhilHealth needs to update their case rate packages to include dental and optical services to address the treatment burden in rural areas.”
This was the observation of ANAKALUSUGAN Party-list Representative Ray Florence
Reyes as he expressed his surprise at the turnout of patients seeking medical help thru the medical missions conducted by the party-list group in the towns of Hamtic, Bugasong and Pandan in the Province of Antique, where 950 patients availed of free medical services and medicines last October 13 to 15.
The group brought with them free medical services such as general consultation, pediatric check-up, Electrocardiogram (ECG) services, Lipid Profiling, among others. Free medicines and vitamins were also distributed among patients. Eye check-up with provision of free eyeglasses, and dental services such as tooth extraction were, as well, part of the services rendered.
“This three-day medical mission goes to show that many of our citizens are willing to avail of these services when they are accessible and offered for free. Optical check-ups and dental services, for example, are highly sought for by our patients here,” Rep. Reyes stated.
“From this mission, optical and dental needs of the Filipinos indicate that it is high time for the national health insurer to step-up its coverage and include such in the Universal Health Care,” he added.
As of 2022, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) does not cover dental operations or check-ups. On the other hand, only screening, consultation fee, and cost of surgery for eye problems like cataract and glaucoma are covered for optical services.
Reminded by past issues of irregularities, Rep. Reyes urged that PhilHealth improve its collection and stop corruption within the organization so that it can expand its services.
“Funds lost to corruption could have been used for these much-needed services. The stateinsurer continues to show that it needs reform. Our taxpayer’s money is valuable and should therefore be managed appropriately,” Rep. Reyes urged.