Gov’t urged to give aid to sco­l­io­sis pa­tients

Sun.Star Davao - - TOP STORIES -

THE Sco­l­io­sis Philip­pines, a pri­vate or­ga­ni­za­tion pro­mot­ing sco­l­io­sis aware­ness in the coun­try, urged the na­tional gov­ern­ment to pro­vide fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to in­di­gent pa­tients through full sur­gi­cal sub­sidy.

Sco­l­io­sis Philip­pines founder Amanda Ki­amko, dur­ing yes­ter­day's Con­nect press con­fer­ence held at SM Lanang Pre­miere yes­ter­day, said the na­tional gov­ern­ment, through Philip­pine Char­ity Sweep­stakes Of­fice (PCSO), only pro­vides P100,000 sub­sidy to each in­di­gent pa­tient who has to un­dergo a sur­gi­cal op­er­a­tion on se­vere curves called Spinal Fu­sion.

"Although a P100,000 may al­ready sound big, but the cost for each op­er­a­tion would reach al­most a mil­lion pe­sos in­clud­ing the medicines and needed hospi­tal re­quire­ments. So where will our poor pa­tients get the re­main­ing money for the op­er­a­tion," Ki­amko said.

Davao Doc­tors Hospi­tal (DDH) as­sis­tant di­rec­tor doc­tor Ron­ald Ten­gente, for his part, said 30 per­cent of the an­nual pa­tient pop­u­la­tion in all hos­pi­tals in the city are sco­l­io­sis pa­tients.

Sco­l­io­sis, Tan­gente said, is usu­ally de­tected dur­ing child­hood and can be pre­vented through an early de­tec­tion screen­ing with spe­cific spinal align­ment pro­ce­dures.

Once a pa­tient reaches 18 years old, the spinal align­ment will be dif­fi­cult to be treated as the skele­tal sys­tem of a hu­man body ma­tures dur­ing this age.

"Worst ef­fect of sco­l­io­sis is lung de­te­ri­o­ra­tion and heart fail­ure due to se­vere spinal curve af­fect­ing the in­ter­nal or­gans," he said.

Ki­amko said Philip­pine Health In­sur­ance Cor­po­ra­tion (PhilHealth) should ex­tend its ben­e­fits to sco­l­io­sis pa­tients through dis­count on spinal brace pur­chases.

Spinal or back braces cost around P40,000 to P100,000 each.

Mean­while, DDH, Ten­gente said, will open its Spinal and Sco­l­io­sis Cen­ter, the first in Min­danao, next month.

"This will be a one-stop shop cen­ter for pa­tients wherein sco­l­io­sis aware­ness pro­grams and sco­l­io­sis screen­ing will be put in one place," he said.

The one-storey clinic will house US sco­l­io­sis de­tect­ing and treat­ment ma­chines with or­tho­pe­dic sur­geons trained abroad, hop­ing to sup­port the sco­l­io­sis pa­tients in the coun­try.

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