Gov vows no-balance billing for TB patients

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    LUBAO, PAMPANGA – Gov. Lilia ‘Nanay’ Pineda vowed to include tuberculosis (TB) patients in the no-balance billing policy being implemented in all government hospitals in this province.

    The governor announced this during the assembly of more than 700 TB patients from Lubao, Floridablanca, Guagua, Sasmuan, Sta. Rita and Porac held at Lubao Gymnasium yesterday.

    The governor said TB patients should not be afraid to go to hospitals as no single centavo shall be spent for their hospitalization.

    Gov. Pineda also reminded the patients to religiously take their medicines for six months and conduct regular check-ups.

    Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Region-3 Vice President Walter Bacareza for his part lauded the governor’s health programs and expressed support to the governor’s plan.

    “Kami po sa PhilHealth sumusuporta sa lahat ng gastusin sa pagpapagamot. Meron po tayong sapat na pondo para bayaran ang pagpapagamot sa TB,” Bacareza said.

    Bacareza added that TB patients can avail the Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) benefit package worth P4,000 in PhilHealth accredited TB-DOTS centers that offer free consultation, diagnostic exams, health counseling and medicines.

    Bacareza emphasized that the benefits are available to all PhilHealth members and their qualified dependents that have tuberculosis and in need of medication.

    In can be noted that Pampanga has reached 93 percent tuberculosis treatment success rate last year.

    The high percentage was possible through the collaboration of the provincial government and the health department in extending help by providing financial and food assistance to all TB patients ongoing treatment to RHUs, monitoring the implementation of the TB in jail program, conducting sputum exam for inmates during entry and exit of the provincial jail, validating the monthly slide of TB laboratories, reviewing the program implementation of the municipalities and monitoring the pharmacy directly observed treatment short course (DOTS) initiative and TB in workplace referral system.

    After the activity, the governor together with Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab distributed financial assistance, a pack of vitamins and food assistance to the patients.

    Also present during the event were board member Salvador Dimson Jr, Capitol department heads, chiefs of hospital, Philhealth Region 3 Branch A Manager Ruby Vitug and representatives from the Department of Health.

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