No manpower for drug rehab care, services – DOH chief


No manpower for drug rehab care, services – DOH chief

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) – November 10, 2019 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — On the heels of Vice President Leni Robredo’s pronouncement that the government should use a “health-based approach” to combat drug addiction, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III admitted yesterday the lack of manpower for drug rehabilitation programs.

According to Duque, there is not enough “human resources to really provide maximum rehabilitation care and services.”

“We are working with the Department of Budget and Management to increase the number of plantilla positions, or at least the budget to allow us to hire on a contractual basis certain human resources for health such as psychiatrists and psychologists,” he said during the In-Focus media forum.

Duque noted that drug addiction is considered a “mental health disorder.” Because of this, it should be addressed not merely through treatment and rehablitation centers but community-based approaches.

“We have to make sure that it is being addressed by the government in tandem with the local government units… Community has an important role (in the rehabilitation) of the victims of drug addiction,” he added. 

But the health chief gave assurance that the Duterte admistration is targeting to put up one rehabilitation center in each of the country’s 17 regions.

Duque said that there are 13 or 14 centers all over the country, and local government units that are “populous” like Metro Manila may need more than one center.