Legarda hails P1.16-B budget approval for dengue patients

MANILA --Senator Loren Legarda hailed the Senate's approval of the proposed PHP1.16 billion supplemental budget to fund the medical assistance programs for dengue patients. The measure was passed on third and final reading with 18 affirmative votes.

"This measure will provide medical assistance for hospitalization and outpatient care services to all dengue patients, including those who received the Dengvaxia vaccine," said Legarda, sponsor of the bill and chair of the Senate committee on finance.

"Through this, we hope to, somehow, allay fears of the almost 900,000 individuals who were administered with the Dengvaxia vaccine. The Senate version, in fact, widened the scope of the medical assistance program, in terms of beneficiaries, as well as covered areas," she said.

The Department of Health will issue the guidelines on how to avail of medical assistance program.

The funding, which will come from the amount refunded to the Philippine government by Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur, through its local distributor Zuellig Pharma, is valid until Dec. 31, 2019.

Meanwhile, Legarda said she will oversee the use of funds to ensure that the medical assistance needed by dengue patients is properly given.

"The health of our people deserves to be on top of government priorities. We need to ensure that dengue patients are helped, processing is fast, monitoring is accurate and, hopefully, prevent further deaths and illnesses of those administered with the vaccine," Legarda said. (Senate PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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