BICOL PARENTS URGED TO AVAIL OF PHILHEALTH BENEFITS FOR NEWBORNS
LEGAZPI CITY — The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) 5 (Bicol) is encouraging parents of newborn babies to avail of its enhanced benefits for infants.
PhilHealth recently expanded its coverage of essential health services to cover newborns and enable the early detection and management of more congenital disorders, which may lead to mental retardation and even death, if left untreated.
“We recognize the importance of providing essential care to newborns during one of the most crucial phases of life,” Philhealth-5 vice president, Orlando Iñigo Jr., said in an interview on Monday.
“It is important that active members of Philhealth avail of the package in order to provide newborns with the needed services,” he added.
The state health insurer introduced the enhanced Newborn Care Package, increasing the amount of coverage from PHP1,750 to PHP2,950 for supplies for essential newborn care, such as Vitamin K, eye ointment, vaccines for Hepatitis B and BCG, expanded newborn screening test, newborn hearing screening test, and fees for attending professionals.
“We make it a point that members, those who are expecting to have children are aware of these benefits,” Iñigo added.
Newborn screening aims to detect at the earliest stage certain genetic and metabolic conditions that may lead to mental retardation or morbidity if left untreated. The screening was integrated into the public health delivery system with the enactment of Republic Act No. 9288 or the Newborn Screening Act of 2004.
The expanded newborn screening test will be able to detect endocrine, amino and fatty acid disorders, organic acid, urea cycle defect, cystic fibrosis, hemoglobinopathies, biotinidase deficiency, and other disorders. (PNA)
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