The Department of Health (DOH) launched a Stroke Medical Assistance Program last week in celebration of Brain Attack Awareness Week.  The assistance program aimed to make stroke medication alteplase or tissue plasminogen activator available to the public for free if availed through selected DOH government hospitals nationwide.

The initiative came after an observation that patients who have had stroke are forced to be brought to a private hospital to seek urgent treatment for brain attacks. Not most of the time, the alteplase is available in government hospitals due to the high cost of the treatment.

Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell Ubial instructed government hospitals to explore partnership with private hospitals so patients admitted in private hospitals could also avail of alteplase, free of charge. Private hospitals will write to hospitals under DOH requesting for alteplase vials and request will be granted with assurance that these will be given for free, not even minimal cost, to eligible patients.

“Alteplase is truly a life saving drug and every stroke patient eligible to receive it, should have access to it. It is not acceptable that a patient who cannot shelve out Php 80,000 will be deprived of this emergency medicine at a time when this is needed the most. This is the reason why the DOH procured this medicine in bulk, and DOH pays only Php30,000 per vial, which is 50,000 less than when this is bought in pharmacies.” said Ubial.

Patients can avail of alteplase in the following DOH hospitals:

  1. East Avenue Medical Center
  2. Philippine Heart Center
  3. Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center
  4. National Kidney and Transplant Institute
  5. Quirino Memorial Medical Center
  6. Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center
  7. Philippine General Hospital
  8. Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center
  9. Mariano Marcos Memorial Medical Center
  10. Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center
  11. Cagayan Valley Medical Center
  12. Southern Isabela General Hospital
  13. Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital
  14. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center
  15. Batangas Medical Center
  16. Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital
  17. Bicol Medical Center
  18. Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital
  19. Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital
  20. Western Visayas Medical Center
  21. Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center
  22. Zamboanga City Medical Center
  23. Cotabato Regional and Medical Center
  24. Northern Mindanao Medical Center
  25. Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Regional and Teaching Hospital
  26. Southern Philippines Medical Center