A party-list congressman representing the health sector on Thursday called on the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to include psoriasis in its coverage.
ANAKALUSUGAN Rep. Ray Reyes said they were disappointed by the admission of PhilHealth officials that the skin ailment is not on the list of covered diseases.
“Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that affects millions of Filipinos and can have a significant impact on productivity and quality of life. PhilHealth should move towards its coverage now,” Reyes said.
Citing a growing field of peer-reviewed research demonstrating the medical and economic urgency of providing coverage for psoriasis, Reyes also said the World Health Organization (WHO) already raised the alarm by tagging psoriasis as a “global health concern” affecting up to 3% of the world’s population, with more than 1.2 million cases reported in the Philippines alone.
“Psoriasis can be a debilitating and stigmatizing disease, with significant physical and emotional consequences for those who suffer from it,” according to Reyes.
“By including coverage for psoriasis under PhilHealth’s Universal Health Care Program, we can help ensure that all Filipinos have access to the care they need to manage their condition, improve their quality of life and bring them back to the more productive sector.”
Reyes also noted that failing to provide coverage for psoriasis can lead to significant economic burdens for patients and their families as the cost of treatment for psoriasis can be prohibitively expensive, particularly for those with lower incomes or limited access to healthcare.
“I urge PhilHealth to recognize the urgency of providing coverage for psoriasis and take swift action to ensure that all Filipinos have access to the care they need,” Reyes said.