Gov’t eyes mental health under PhilHealth benefits
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Gov’t eyes mental health under PhilHealth benefits

/ 05:10 AM April 15, 2024



MANILA, Philippines — The government is considering including mental health care under the packages of state health insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to raise awareness and provide competitive compensation to mental health professionals.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) noted the importance of mental health, which was highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.


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Some cases of depression, anxiety and traumatic disorders all surfaced during the pandemic, which is why communities must have awareness of mental health concerns, according to Jaime Montoya, executive director of the DOST-PCHRD.

“But even before that, we already did mental health research and development, even prior to the passage of the mental health law in 2018, and that actually helped in raising awareness among Filipinos about the importance of mental health,” Montoya told reporters last week on the sidelines of the DOST-PCHRD’s first mental health research symposium in Pasay City.

He said the PCHRD coordinated with the Department of Health to support mental health “even at [the] primary level.”

Community level

Mental health care has always been at the “tertiary level” of health, but Montoya said the PCHRD wants to change this by bringing mental health care to the community level “because this should not be hospital-based only.”

The problem is [that] our barangay health workers don’t even know what mental health is,” Montoya said.


“So, that is part of our objective. We are developing modules that will be adopted. We have separate projects on that which can be used by health workers and not just by doctors and nurses,” he added.

Montoya explained these projects can help in the early detection of mental health problems “and, therefore, to make the appropriate interventions.”

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At present, he said the PCHRD is currently working with PhilHealth to include mental health care in its packages so that professionals will receive the proper compensation.

TAGS: DoH, mental health, PCHRD, Philhealth

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