SM Foundation holds medical mission for workers

Dasmariñas, Cavite—Hundreds benefitted from the second medical-dental and diagnostic mission of the SM Foundation Inc. held Saturday here, which began before the mall opening hours and lasted until late afternoon.

In time for the celebration of the 117th Araw ng Lalawigan ng Rizal, the Rizal ‘Byahe Tayo’ shows a colorful rendition of traditional jeepneys, intricately hand-painted to represent the entire province, its 13 towns and one city, also in celebration of the 120th Philippine Independence Day. Shown in photo are mall workers at the exhibit at the mall atrium of SM City Masinag in Antipolo City. Manny Palmero
Not only were the SM employees and their families coming to avail of the free diagnostic services and facilities of SMFI, but also those within communities near the SM Mall in Dasmariñas.

Located right beside the food court, the mission saw long lines of people—young and old and from all walks of life—even before the mall opened and the set-up was finished. Clerks, sales ladies, security guards, and even employees of locators availed of the services near closing time, or just when the crowds thinned.

All key officers of the SM Group of Companies were on hand to ensure the success of the endeavor, which is being undertaken every quarter for the employees, most of whom could not afford comprehensive check-ups using their HMO cards. Neither could they provide such checkups to their family members.

Two huge mobile clinics containing digital X-rays, ultrasound and ECGs augmented the consultations with the partner- doctors of SMFI. Watson’s also provided free medicines for the patients who were given prescriptions by the participating physicians.

Medical practitioner partners of SMFI and medical schools pitched in doctors for the occasion. Partner organizations of SMFI are the International Academy of Medical Specialists, the International College of Surgeons, ophthalmologists and the medical acupuncture practitioners.

SMFI Executive Director Connie Angeles for health and wellness said the swelling number of people attending the first and second medical missions for employees indicate that people are concerned about their health and well-being but just can’t afford to avail of such costly medical and diagnostic services.

The timing was perfect as children—which constituted most of the patients in the mission—were preparing to return to school this June. And since it was summer, many in their puberty availed of the free circumcision conducted by doctors in the tent area set up inside the mall.

As in the first medical mission in Fairview, there were lectures on how to maintain health heart, kidneys and liver, proper diet and exercise, the ills of smoking and on family planning.

Among the services offered in the medical mission were OB-Gyne checks and ultrasound, pre and postnatal care, pediatrics, eye (with free glasses) and dental checks and treatments, blood tests, consultations and maintenance medicines given free for diabetes, heart and liver problems and many more.

Medical doctors who branched out to acupuncture also treated patients, many of them for the first time, in a separate room within the mall, one of which was a stroke patient who had difficulty walking and opening his mouth but when administered the needles, was able to do so within the day.

The Foundation plans to hold the medical missions and diagnostic services for its employees and their dependents every quarter (the first was in Fairview) as many of the employees have exhausted their health cards without even being able to avail of all the benefits due them for the year. Such missions will be done in the whole country, where the Group operates.

“This is our answer to their need for more medical check-ups as well as those of their dependents and family members,” Angeles said. Since we have been making our monthly medical and dental outreach programs for the communities where SM is located, why not for our own employees. This is the true meaning of charity, she explained.

Dr. Bless Bertos, head of SMFI medical and dental missions, said she did not expect such huge number of people showing up and judging by their appearances, they came from all walks of life (the elderly who were wheeled into the venue; infants and toddlers, the poor and the rich) many of whom came from the nearby villages.

Aside from the monthly medical and dental missions that SMFI conducts for the communities where the Group is located, it also builds new or renovates existing civilian health centers and wards in military and police camps all over the country.

Topics: SM Foundation Inc , Connie Angeles , SM Group of Companies , Bless Bertos
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