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The Philippines Launches Mental Health Information System
Source: http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/2013/dec/04/philippines-launches-mental-health-information-sys/
Source Date: Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Philippines
Created: Dec 04, 2013

The University of the Philippines National Institute of Health (UP-NIH), in close partnership with the Foundation for the Advancement of Clinical Epidemiology, Inc (FACE, Inc.) and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, launched earlier this week the country’s first integrated Mental Health Information System (MEHIS) in a bid to effectively respond to the needs of mental health patients and their families.

“There is a vicious cycle between poverty and mental illness. The rate of mental disorders and the need for care is highest among disadvantaged people yet with the lowest access to appropriate services,” said Dr. Michael Sionzon, Consultant Department of Psychiatry at the Philippine General Hospital

“Poverty causes mental illness and mental illness drifts down families in the social strata but the government cannot see this occurrence,” he noted, adding that patients suffering mental illness could live normal and productive lives given proper care, treatment, and therapy.

According to Professor Maria Lourdes Amarillo, project leader of MEHIS, the creation of effective solutions to address the needs of mental patients begins with the collation of reliable baseline data. The data gathered will generate information crucial for planning, programming, policy and decision-making that will help the government and other health care institutions focus on outcomes-based medication and treatment. Furthermore, the system will help doctors advice families and caregivers on how to properly take care of the patient.

Sionzon revealed that they hope to complete the system by April 2014 and launch pilot trials in ten key areas in the following month.
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