DND stresses need to establish additional hospitals for veterans
by DND PAO / AES
Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City (DWDD) -Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin stressed the need to construct more hospitals for Filipino veterans.
He made this statement shortly after signing the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona on the joint implementation of the Veterans Hospitalization Program (VHP).
Gazmin said the additional hospital for veterans is a fitting tribute to the living heroes of the country and their loved ones.
As of this August, there are 36,281 living World War II and post-war veterans, including retirees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and an estimated 140,000 legal beneficiaries who are entitled to enjoy health care services from the government.
Taking into consideration the children and parents of post-war veterans and retirees, dependents could reach to as high as 500,000 who are equally entitled to the same benefits.
The DND chief lauded the steps made by Congress in taking cognizance of the need to establish more veterans’ hospitals for those who reside in remote provinces with House Bill No. 2225 being deliberated in the House of Representatives, and Senate Bill No. 830 in the Senate, both seeking to establish Veterans Memorial Medical Centers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Gazmin also appealed to Ona for the inclusion of living World War II veterans and surviving spouses as beneficiaries in DOH’s Universal Healthcare Program for them to enjoy PhilHealth coverage as sponsored members.
For his part, the DOH chief said that that they are exploring the expansion of Philhealth insurance coverage to all surviving World War II Veterans. “This is a promise we intend to keep,” Ona said.
The VHP is a program that extends hospitalization and medical care benefits to Filipino veterans and their dependents nationwide in hospitals that are accredited by the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).
The program provides partial hospital subsidy of PHP1,200 per day of hospital confinement net of other applicable discounts up to a maximum of 45 days per patient per year to be reimbursed by PVAO-VMMC to the accredited hospitals. It also gives partial reimbursement of certain select procedures and additional benefits such as cataract surgery, cardiac procedures such as angiogram, angioplasty, pace-maker placement and heart by-pass; endoaneurysmectomy, and chemotherapeutic agents.
In addition, partial reimbursement may also be given to veterans and dependents that need hearing aid, hernia mesh, orthopedic implants and braces and dentures.