THE Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday has announced the “soft opening” of the government-run 10,000 bed drug rehabilitation center in Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, in a press conference at the Malacanang Palace, said “the facility has been partially finished by October 17…and our personnel, who were hired for that facility, about 1,000 of them; are now actually viewing the facility and having a dry run on how to manage the patients that will be referred to that facility come November’.”
The formal opening of the mega drug treatment and rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija will be in November, she said adding that 2,500-beds were already turned over last Monday, October 17, while the remaining 7,500-beds will be handed to the facility on November 16, the center’s opening day
The construction of the 100,000-square meter rehabilitation center was made possible through the donation of Chinese businessman Huang Rulun, following Sec. Ubial’s visit to Beijing last September.
The Nueva Ecija drug rehabilitation center will accommodate one to two percent of the close to 800,000 drug dependents who have so far surrendered to authorities.
Furthermore, Sec. Ubial said the government has already trained over 1,000 medical personnel from different the local government units and her department is the now in the process of accrediting them to become front line health workers for the assessment of drug dependents.
Qualification for in-patient rehabilitation in Fort Magsaysay will depend on the drug dependent’s history of drug use as well as the result of their urine and blood tests, Sec. Ubial noted.
“So ‘yung mga nag-positive sa screening, ‘yun ang ico-commit natin for the in-patient treatment,” she explained.
Asked by reporters if the DOH has a budget for the setting up of the different mega rehabilitation centers nationwide, Ubial said they have no allocation in the current budget which was prepared during the previous administration.
The DOH chief, however, said they have been using the Quick Response Fund and have sub-allotted P130 million to the existing treatment and rehabilitation centers to double their original capacity.
It has also allocated around P15 million to hire new employees in Region III.