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PIA Press Release
2005/01/12

Meningococcemia compensable under PhilHealth

Cagayan de Oro City (12 January) -- “ANY member who will be confined in any PhilHealth-accredited hospital due to meningococcemia need not worry because we will cover part of their hospitalization expenses.”

This was announced by Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) after news of the spread of the meningococcemia virus caused panic among hundreds of Filipinos, particularly among those residing in Baguio City.

“PhilHealth understands the anxieties of our members should they or any member of their families acquire the meningococcemia virus,” Duque said, adding that as a health institution, PhilHealth is ready to provide medical care benefits in any of the more than 1,500 accredited hospitals in the country.

Duque said meningococcemia is considered a catastrophic case, which can cause sudden death. PhilHealth members who will be confined in any tertiary category hospital may avail themselves of P400 for room and board allowance per day, and as much as P16,000 for drugs and medicines that will be used during the entire period of confinement.

Meningococcemia or meningococcal disease is a communicable infection caused by Neisseria miningitidis (a normal bacteria of the mouth and throat and other parts or the respiratory tract). It is transmitted from person to person via respiratory secretions and family members and those closely exposed to an infected individual are at increased risk.

Its non-specific symptoms are cough, headache, nausea and vomiting, sore throat, and petechial (spotty red or purple) rashes, followed by sudden development of spiking fever, chills, muscle and joint pains.

Health experts advice people with suspected meningococcal disease to take antibiotics but ONLY for those with close contacts with persons already infected with the disease.

Another preventive measure is to avoid crowded places during the prevalence of the said virus.

The public is also advised to strengthen their immune systems and practice good personal hygiene.

Duque called on fellow Filipinos who have not yet enlisted themselves with PhilHealth to enrol now and assure their families of quality health insurance coverage.

“Let us not wait for any of our loved ones to be hospitalized for days or even weeks without a reliable partner in health care financing,” Duque said. “For as low as P3.35 per day, you can entrust your family’s health insurance to PhilHealth.”

PhilHealth has 16 regional and 84 service offices nationwide where members and non-members may acquire answers to their queries on PhilHealth membership, premium contributions, and availment of their benefits. (PhilHealth-10/Ragcom) [top]

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