THE Department of Health said it is working on expanding treatment and rehabilitation centers as the government continues to raise its war chest against illegal drugs in the country.
“Right now, we are building big treatment and rehabilitation centers as promised by President [Rodrigo Duterte]. [These facilities have] about 500-2,000 beds,” Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said.
The health secretary said they are asking the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. to shoulder the cost of human resources, maintenance and operations.
About 673,000 drug users and pushers have surrendered to the police as of August 31, but Ubial said their present facilities can accommodate only 5,000 patients.
Currently, the DoH has 15 facilities for rehabilitating drug users and pushers, she said, and they now have 200-percent occupancy in existing facilities.
“We have worked with the Department of Interior and Local Government, local government units, non-government organizations and the Church so we can develop a community-based approach to drug rehabilitation,” Ubial said.
“Doctors and nurses are now being trained to provide brief counseling,” she added.
“We have a lot of problems but the approach of the DOH is [to] develop a strategy to address them and then, little by little, build up the capacity of the health system,” she said.
“With the help of so many sectors, we can address this [health issue on drugs] even if it’s small step at a time,” Ubial said.