Medicines are becoming more and more expensive as times passed by. Poor, unemployed, and elderly Filipinos need more support from government to avail free medicines. Recently, Department of Health had new program which is the free medicines given to the poor and senior citizens. This program started in December 2015, and they implemented it in January 2016. Sometimes, those type of people stated were deprived of receiving enough medicinal care due to lack of means. Thankfully, the government started to make this program to help those who needs greater.
You might wonder about the steps needed to have your very own free medicine. Here are the ways for you to avail your free medicine from DOH:
Submit the Requirements
- Valid ID/(s)
- Medical Certificate or Clinical Abstract (Full name should be written with signature, and attending physician’s license number)
- Prescription of doctor with confirmation (5,000 and below worth of medication will have easier time to avail the medicinal benefit)
- Prescription of doctor with the name of the patient and the date when it was issued.
- Indigent card given by the medical social service of the hospital.
- For 5,000 worth of medicinal assistance, there would be mandatory social case needed.
- A beneficiary could claim his or her medicinal assistant once only within three months for more than 5,000 worth of medicine.
As of now, there are limited number of hospitals who are giving this benefit to their patients. Here are some of the hospitals which are supporting this government benefits:
- Davao Regional Hospital or DRH in Tagum City, Region XI
- University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital in Manila, NCR
- Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center or VSMMC in Cebu City, Region VII
- Jose B. Lingad General Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga, Region III
- Southern Philippines Medical Center or SPMC in Davao City, Region XI
- Western Visayas Medical Center or WVMC in Iloilo, Region VI
According to census, these hospitals are the places where there are more poverty rates than other provinces. Government is still working to give more benefit in different hospital and medical centers. Other than this, they are giving 20% discounts to senior citizens and PWD every time they are buying medicines from hospital and pharmacies.
To avail discount when purchasing medicine, the beneficiary should present:
- his or her national identification card
- OSCA chairman’s approved slip booklet
- Doctor’s prescription with the generic name of the prescribed medicine, name, age, and address of the patient should be filled out. The PTR number of the doctor is needed.
- If the patient could not afford having his or her private doctor, you can go to the nearest health center or government hospital and ask for free prescription to present to DOH.
- For those who have chronic conditions such as cancer, psychosis, hypertension, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, or Parkinson’s disease could be eligible with 1 month medication. Other than that, the supply of medicine should not be more than 1 week.
Take note that those who are eligible with the medicines provided by the government will not get cash but letter referred by DSWD for you to present to their partner hospitals, drugstores, or pharmacies.
If you are suffering from long-term sickness, DOH thankfully provided help to reduce the medicine bills. As time passes by, hospital and medical bills are increasing. According to survey, there are 6.1 prevalence rate of diabetes in the Philippines. That means there are six million Filipinos who are experiencing from diabetes. On the other hand, according to The Manila Times, 1 in 4 Filipinos suffers from hypertension. For estimation, there 14 million Filipinos with hypertension. That’s a large number! Most of them are senior citizens, included to the poor community, and PWD.
Looking through the numbers of people who are suffering from chronic illness, medical support is truly needed, especially those people who has little means to support their hospital and medical expenses.
So, what are some of the medicines to be distributed? These are Metformin, Amlodipine, Losartan, and Metropolol. These medicines are given free by the government. As of now, they are only serving limited people. There are ways to become eligible with free medicines given by the DOH. Assessment and screening is essential to avail your free medicines. You can do this in the nearest health center or primary health. You must use the Philippine Package of Essential NCD Intervention protocol.
If you undergo with the two diseases which are hypertension and diabetes, you are eligibly enrolled to DOH Hypertension and Diabetes Club. Medicine support would not be the only benefit to be given to beneficiaries, but they will also hold seminars and activities promoting healthy lifestyle to help them reduce their blood sugars and control their blood pressure. It will also help them to prevent complications from their diseases.