DOUBTLESS, the government, through concerned offices and agencies, has concrete plans of action on how to meet the mushrooming medical needs of the many poor.
And the people, particularly the poor, ought to expect the best in the days ahead as President Duterte completed the first six months of his six-year presidency last month.
In fact, an indigent patient with extremely justifiable case can get a maximum of P75,000 worth of medical assistance from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
This after President Duterte announced the release of a staggering P1 billion from PAGCOR to finance a multi-pronged program for indigent patients across the country.
Although the P1-billion fund has not been downloaded to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the DSWD may start processing applications from poor patients.
“We are implementing it immediately, meaning if the indigent patients have valid prescriptions, we find ways to provide that assistance from our existing funds,” said DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo.
Based on DSWD guidelines, qualified patients are entitled to get free medicines from a minimum of P5,000 to P25,000 provided they have authorization from a social worker of state-owned hospitals.
In an extremely justifiable case, however, the amount of assistance beyond P25,000 but not to exceed P75,000 may be granted to a poor patient.
Of course, Taguiwalo was quick to explain that the assistance is subject to the approval of the DSWD assistant secretary for protective programs or the DSWD regional director in the area.
By implementing the pro-poor program, the government is demonstrating its determination to meet the various medical and health needs of the poorest of the poor in the country.