OPAV to partner with Cebu private hospitals in the rehab of drug users
The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) is eyeing a partnership with private hospitals in the rehabilitation of drug dependents in Cebu.
Presidential Assistant in the Visayas Michael Dino said the lack of drug rehabilitation centers in the regions has led him to seek help from private hospital owners.
“This is the best time. Because of their belief in the Duterte administration, they want to stand up and be counted. They really want to help,” he said in a press conference at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command (Centcom) headquarters in Cebu City on Friday afternoon.
The Philippine National Police’s latest count showed there are around 43,000 drug surrenderers in Central Visayas alone. Nationwide, almost half a million confessed drug users have surrendered.
Drug enforcement authorities earlier said there are around three million drug users all over the country.
Dino said he has spoken to the owners of Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital (CDUH), Chong Hua Hospital and Cebu Velez General Hospital, all of which are based in Cebu City.
He said CDUH wants to expand its rehabilitation center by phases, which can accommodate up to 2,000 additional patients upon completion.
Dino said he hoped Chong Hua and Velez will do the same, with 2,000 and 700 additional bed capacities, respectively.
He said a subsidized rate is also being eyed for these centers.
“The private (sector) should help already. That is the only way we can be successful,” said Dino.
Dino added they were now working on guidelines with the Department of Health (DOH) on how to rehabilitate drug surrenderees. They hoped to come up with guidelines by the third week of August, he added.
Dino emphasized the need to categorize these surrenderees since not all of them might need to be rehabilitated in a facility.
“Maybe some of them can be treated and monitored at home,” he said.
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