The provincial board has asked the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to cover psychiatric consultation fees and related medicines.

A resolution sponsored by Board Member Ryan Maminta cited a World Health Organization (WHO) study stating there are some 1.5 million Filipinos suffering from depression, substance use disorder, and other issues resulting in suicide.

Maminta pointed out that psychiatric illness is still not included in the illnesses covered by PhilHealth.

“Ang age bracket na ito ay the most productive age among Filipinos and individuals with severe psychiatric illnesses have no employment, [usually belongs ] to the poorest of the poor in our society. This [inclusion in PhilHealth] will be a big help to our countrymen suffering from psychiatric illnesses,” Maminta said.

Maminta further explained that the benefits of PhilHealth coverage may be availed by either insured members or beneficiaries. The cost of insurance is determined by the type of illness as well as the case rate, professional fee, and health institution fee for that ailment.

“We recognize this issue, and that is why we are requesting its inclusion in the list of covered medical cases under PhilHealth. It can also prevent financial, emotional, and other psychological problems,” Maminta said.

He said Philhealth is a tax-exempt government corporation that has the power to administer the National Health Insurance Program to provide health insurance services and ensure affordable, acceptable, and available health services.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.