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PhilHealth offers benefit package for heat-related illnesses

By: Dempsey Reyes, Dexter Cabalaza, Marlon Ramos - | April 30,2024 - 03:52 PM

PhilHealth heat illnesses

PhilHealth office. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has assured the public that it covers services for inpatient confinement for heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion.

“If members or their dependents need to be admitted to any PhilHealth-accredited health facilities due to heat stroke or heat exhaustion, PhilHealth provides a benefit package amounting to P8,450,” PhilHealth president Emmanuel Ledesma said in a statement on Monday.

The benefit package for heat exhaustion was among the case rates, which had been increased by 30 percent—from P6,500 to P8,450—in February this year due to inflation adjustment.

READ: Lawmaker pushes further expansion of PhilHealth coverage

Health-related illnesses

The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded a total of 34 cases of heat-related illnesses since the start of the year. Six have died but the DOH is still verifying their actual causes of death.

Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa Jr. on Monday acknowledged that the extreme heat being experienced nationwide could cause heat-related illnesses or, even worse, death.

READ: Summer 2024: DOH-7 reports rise in dengue, influenza-like illnesses

First of all, the high-risks here are senior citizens and very young children [are at-risk], especially if our temperature is at a dangerous level,” Herbosa told reporters at the Task Force El Niño press conference in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

He said those who engage in sports should minimize their time of exposure to the sun, especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“For hydration, my tip is very simple, people in sports have already learned this. They created a commercial sports drink but honestly, anyone can do that, get a glass of water and add a pinch of salt, and the water will already have electrolytes,” Herbosa explained.

READ: What is heat index?

Wear loose clothing

He also advised the public to wear loose clothing, cotton and light-colored shirts like white to reflect sunlight and heat. If symptoms begin to surface, he said the person should immediately go to a place with air-conditioning.

Reacting to reports that two of the six cooling towers at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 had been malfunctioning since Saturday, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri asked the Department of Transportation to look into the matter, including elevators that were not working.

READ: Cebu gears up for hottest May yet: May 1 temperature to hit 40°C

He also pushed for a Senate inquiry into the problems hounding the country’s main gateway.

“There must be some sort of transparency and accountability when it comes to the problems in our airports,” Zubiri said in a press briefing on Monday.

“There is incompetence. If they are still waiting for the private sector to come in, that’s a violation of their duty to the people. That’s their job,” he added.

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TAGS: heat stroke, illness, PhilHealth

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