Written by Mary Agnes A. Panton, RN

Newborn Screening 2

Newborn Screening aims to detect at the earliest stage
of life genetic and metabolic conditions that may lead to
mental retardation if left untreated. The Philippine Health
Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) expanded its coverage
of essential health services for newborns through the
PhilHealth Circular No. 2001 – 0021 which took effect on
January 5, 2019. We now have the enhanced Newborn Care Package which increases 
the amount of coverage from P1,750 to P2,950 which pays for supplies of  Vit. K eye ointment,  
vaccines for Hepatitis B and BCG; expanded Newborn Screening
Test; Newborn Hearing Screening Test; and fees for attending health professionals. The essential newborn
care also includes immediate drying of the baby, early skin to ntation of the expanded Newborn Screening
Program from 6 (six) to 28 disorders. The expanded newborn screening  test will be able to
detect endocrine, amino and fatty acids disorders; organic acid; cystic fibrosis, hemoglobinopathies, biotinidase
deficiency and urea cycle defect. Accredited health care institution – birthing homes and lying in clinics, infirmaries and
hospitals can give these packages to all newborns. All PhilHealth members who are pregnant are
encourage to avail of these services to avoid high cost associated with the lifelong treatment and
reduce death and morbidity due to metabolic disorders.