Gov’t Considers Adding Mental Health To PhilHealth Benefits

Government Aims to Include Mental Health in PhilHealth Coverage

MENTAL HEALTH – The government is contemplating the inclusion of mental health services into the coverage provided by the state health insurer, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

The government is contemplating the inclusion of mental health care in the services covered by the state health insurer, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), aiming to enhance awareness and offer competitive remuneration to mental health professionals.

Based on a report from Inquirer, the significance of mental health has been underscored by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), particularly accentuated during the lockdowns imposed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.


According to Jaime Montoya, executive director of the DOST-PCHRD, the pandemic has brought to light various mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and traumatic disorders, necessitating heightened community awareness of mental health concerns.

Montoya highlighted that mental health research and development efforts were initiated even prior to the enactment of the mental health law in 2018, contributing significantly to raising awareness among Filipinos about the importance of mental health.


According to the report, the PCHRD, in collaboration with the Department of Health, is striving to extend support for mental health at the primary level, aiming to shift mental health care from the tertiary level to the community level to make it more accessible beyond hospital settings.

One challenge highlighted by Montoya is the lack of awareness about mental health among barangay health workers, emphasizing the need for education and training at the grassroots level.

“So, that is part of our objective. We are developing modules that will be adopted. We have separate projects on that which can be used by health workers and not just by doctors and nurses,” he added.

Montoya clarified that these initiatives can aid in the timely identification of mental health issues “and therefore, to make the appropriate interventions.”

Currently, he mentioned that the PCHRD is collaborating with PhilHealth to incorporate mental health care into its coverage, ensuring that professionals are appropriately compensated.

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