Gov't spends P10,000 monthly per drug surrenderer-patient

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2016 08:12 PM

Rehab centers underway for drug dependents, says DOH chief Ubial

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial on Wednesday said majority of the drug surrenderers being handled by the government are not qualified for in-patient rehabilitation.

"Doctors will make the assessment [if] they are fit or they qualify for out-patient, or for community-based. 99% in our current statistics actually qualify for that and only 1% qualify for in-patient, the hardcore," she told ANC's Headstart with Karen Davila.

Ubial said they have trained and accredited the primary physicians and general practitioners to make the initial assessment of the drug surrenderer, which will be followed by periodic assessments.

She also revealed the administration's plan to build rehabilitation facilities to be able to cater to the growing number of drug pushers and users surrendering to authorities amid the war on drugs.

"The plan is to put one big rehab facility per region—that’s about 200 to 500-bed, depending on the situation in the region—and then 100-bed facility per province," she said.

There is also a plan for four mega-facilities—two in Luzon, one in Visayas, and one in Mindanao—to be placed inside the military camps, she added, noting that the one currently in construction in Nueva Ecija is prepared to house 10,000 patients.

Currently, in the 13 treatment and rehabilitation centers nationwide, said Ubial, a social worker assesses if the patient can afford to pay, otherwise the state steps in.

"The estimate is we’re spending P10,000 per month per patient...The average length of stay is six months, but it can go up to 12 months," she said. 

After the rehab stint, Ubial said they do not consider the patients "fully rehabilitated" since they still have to continue with the after-care program, where they are allowed go home but will have to report regularly.

Meanwhile, she also maintained that the department is not only focused on the cure, but also on prevention of drug use. 

"We’re beefing up a campaign to really have a multimedia, quad-media campaign and we’re also talking with the Department of Education to really have it in the curriculum—prevention, that drugs are bad, these are the consequences," she said.