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DoH readies free check-ups for poor

THE Department of Health announced the poorest of the poor Filipinos will get an early “Christmas gift” after the “Duterte Health Agenda” was launched at the National Health Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Thursday.

Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial said the early “Christmas gift” will consist of free and mandatory medical check-ups and medications for 20 million poor Filipinos identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Ubial said the mandatory check-ups will be done by the DOH in cooperation with local and international partners.

“We hope that by Dec. 25, 2016, we can announce to all of you that we have attained that goal of providing basic check-ups to the 20 million poorest Filipinos,” Ubial said.

“We will conduct MRI [magnetic resonance imaging], CT [computerized tomography] scans,” she added.

In addition, Ubial said beneficiaries will also be given other services, like breast examinations, digital rectal exams, cervical cancer screenings, blood, stool and urinalysis tests, eye check-ups and determining if patients have vitamin deficiencies.

Ubial said the DoH will use the results of the diagnostic tests to provide needed medical interventions, like medicine or some other medical procedure.

Ubial said the early check-ups will be a way for the poor to prevent premature deaths because early detection can create a way for faster decisions to treat them and find the solution in order for the illness not to reach a stage where treatment is more difficult.

She said the DoH wants the poor to experience the “changes” in public health services and feel valued and respected.

Ubial said the check-up will also be a way to transform and take charge of their own health and prevent more serious illnesses.

“DoH believes that our goals for the health system cannot be achieved without the support of our local partners and the various stakeholders, especially in the Philippines where health care is a devolved service,” Ubial said.

“It is devolved to the [local government units] and we know if we work with them, partner with them, we can attain so much in terms of advancing our goal of universal health care,” she said.

Development partners were also invited to the summit, like the European Union through Ambassador Franz Jessen, to acknowledge and thank them for their assistance and continuous support for the fulfillment of the health initiatives toward the path of achieving the goals of UHC. 

Ubial said legislators from the Senate and the House of Representatives are also valued in terms of their vital support to the budget of the DoH.

To attain the “Duterte Health Agenda,” the DoH said will use the strategy A.C.H.I.E.V.E. which stands for Advance primary care and quality; Cover all Filipinos against financial risk; Harness power of strategic human resource; Invest in digital health and data for decision making; Enforce standard, accountability and transparency; Value clients and patients; and Elicit multi-sector, multi-stakeholder support for health. 

Topics: Department of Health , Poor Filipino , Christmas gift , Duterte Health Agenda , National Health Summit , Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial
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