Bong Go to DOH: Consider expanding healthcare coverage for dental services


Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Thursday, May 23 urged the Department of Health (DOH) to consider expanding the healthcare coverage for dental services especially for indigent citizens.


Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, pointed this out during a committee hearing which discussions centered on addressing the gap and pushing for the inclusion of comprehensive dental services in the government’s healthcare packages for indigent patients. 


Medical Assistance for Indigent Patients (MAIP), which is administered by the DOH,  is a crucial program designed to provide financial aid to patients unable to afford necessary medical treatments, Go noted.


Many poor Filipinos are unable to pay for dental services, and this lack of access severely affects their quality of life, the senator lamented. 


Go said he is puzzled why comprehensive dental care, including the provision of dentures, could not be included as part of medical services that can be covered by medical aid from government.


“Sa mga mahirap nating kababayan na ayaw na magpa-dentist, hihilain na lang (‘yung ngipin nila)… Wala po silang pambayad sa dentist (To our poor citizens who don’t want to see the dentist, they would just pull out their teeth… they have no money to pay the dentist),” he noted.


Go said it is imperative to amend the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on MAIP in order to strengthen the country’s medical assistance programs, including dental health. 


“Baka ma-consider n’yo naman po na… Medical Assistance for Indigent Patients naman po ‘yan. Indigent ‘yan, pero hindi daw pwede (para sa dentures). Hindi siya daw part ng IRR… pwede naman siguro (i-amend para mabigyan kahit) murang postiso (Maybe the DOH can consider this…since its MAIP. That’s for the indigent. But they said it’s not allowed because it’s not part of the IRR. But I believe we can amend it so we can provide free dentures),” he urged the DOH.