Questions From Singapore

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 12:20 AM
Hello,

Just a short history. I am an employer from Singapore whose worker is being deported back to the Philippines as she has been diagnosed with HIV.

I am particularly worried since she does not know the treatment options back in the Philippines and I am trying to find out as much as possible for her.

For instance, how does she get PhilHealth membership documents and ID. Also, what would be the cost for a membership for a person who is likely to be unemployed once she returns to the Philippines.

Let's also just assume that she would be located somewhere close to Iloilo City, is there anyone who she can talk to directly should she have any questions?

Also what must the CD4 count be before she will qualify for the free medications? And how much medications will she receive each time? (She lives an hour away from the city center).

Hope you can help with my questions as she is very scared and feels rather alienated.

God bless,
L


POZZIEPINOY'S RESPONSE

Hi L.

Thank you for your email. Thank you for sharing your questions and your concern for your friend.

For the sake of the readers, let me share that Singapore is one of the countries that deport foreign workers with HIV. This work restriction has been viewed by the entire world as a violation of human rights, however up to know the Singaporean government has been deaf to the plea of the world. Up to now, more Filipinos are being deported once they have been proven to have HIV. This usually happens during contract renewals when an HIV test is mandatory to all employees. The recourse of our fellow Filipinos, if they are doubtful about their HIV status, is before they end their contract, they come home to the Philippines first and get tested to make sure about their status. If they turn out to be positive, they just don't renew their contracts. However, for some people they are caught off guard. Once they got tested, they will be summoned by the Ministry of Health. Some are even accosted by the police from their place of work and directly be brought to the airport and be scheduled for deportation. Really devastating but it is the reality in Singapore and in the middle eastern countries.

Now going back to your concerns, let me answer them in the order that you asked them.

1. Regarding PhilHealth, once she gets here in the country, since she is unemployed, she can become a individual paying member. She can pay as an individual contributor monthly of P200 to any PhilHealth office. It is an easy process. just fill out the application form and pay either per month or quarterly or even yearly. In just an hour or so, she can get her PhilHealth ID with her membership certification.

2. If she decides to reside in Iloilo, she may contact these numbers of our counselors based there:

0919-642-9286
0977-131-2046
0917-932-3122
0999-346-5330

We can definitely assist her all over the country.

3. For free medications, her CD4 must be at 350 and below. However, with the new ARV Guidelines, even at 500 the doctors can already recommend ART. Of course, the choice will be on the client's readiness as once started, there is no turning back. This means that starting the antiretroviral medicines can't stop anymore while she is alive, of course until a cure has been found for HIV.

Usually the HIV medicines that will be given are good for 3 months so that the client won't have to come back frequently to the HIV and AIDS Treatment hub. However, this would rely on the availability of the medicines.

We can definitely help your friend. Tell her to reach out to us as soon as she comes to the Philippines. It is hard at first, but trust me when I tell you that everything will be ok.

I hope I was able to answer your questions. Feel free to email me again if you have other concerns.

Pozziepinoy