MAKATI CITY, Aug. 11 (PIA) -- The local government has increased its 2017 budget for its Free Medicines Program from P600 million to P900 million to help defray the cost of medications needed by the beneficiaries of its Makati Health Plus (MHP) Program, better known as Yellow Card.
Launched in 2013 with an initial budget of P59 million, Makati’s “Libreng Gamot Para sa Mamamayan” currently benefits more than 230,000 patients which include senior citizens, persons with disability (PWD), city government employees, and other active MHP members.
Makati Mayor Abby Binay asked the Makati City Council to increase the budget for the program to ensure that it would be sustained with adequate funds throughout the year.
“We want our beloved Makatizens to worry less about expenses for maintenance medicines so they could enjoy a better quality of life,” Mayor Abby said.
The City Council approved the budget increase for the program through City Ordinance No. 2017-059 passed last April 26.
The program covers medicines for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cardio-vascular diseases, dyslipidemia, enlarged prostate, gout, cough and colds, sexually transmitted infections, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, seizure disorder, allergy, ulcer, vertigo, and gastro-intestinal problems, and more. It also provides free multivitamins for children, adults and pregnant patients, as well as oral and injectable contraceptives.
The Makati Health Department (MHD) reports that the program has a total of 232,672 beneficiaries to date. These include 42,335 senior citizens and 171 PWDs, while the rest are other city residents, city government employees and selected national government workers based in Makati.
This July, the Makati Action Center (MAC) has made door-to-door deliveries of free maintenance medicines and vitamins worth around P7.2 million to some 4,099 senior citizens aged 70 years and older and bed-ridden beneficiaries identified by the MHD to be qualified for the special service.
Under the program, senior citizens aged 70 and above are entitled to receive the full dose of their monthly prescription of maintenance medicines.
To avail of the free medicines, registered members need to present a valid prescription issued to them by medical personnel from Ospital ng Makati (OsMak), Makati City Hall Employees’ Clinic, as well as any of the barangay health centers in the city.
The authorized distributor, Planet Drugstore, has eight outlets in strategic locations catering to their respective clusters.
More than free medicines and vitamins, Yellow Card beneficiaries enjoy free outpatient consultations and subsidized hospitalization for emergency and in-patient care at the premiere city-run Ospital ng Makati. Primary health care is also being provided by the city’s 26 barangay health centers, while its three lying-in clinics provide subsidized services for normal deliveries. (ICRD/RJB/JCP/PIA-NCR)