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Binay highlights Makati health programs to Filipinos in Rome

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Makati Mayor Abigail Binay met with Filipino community leaders in Rome, Italy, where she talked about the essential healthcare services her city has been offering for the benefit of her constituents.

Binay went on an official trip to the Italian capital to attend a three-day summit titled “From Climate Crisis to Climate Resilience,” which was held at the Casina Pio IV, Vatican City from May 15 to 17.

Addressing around 60 community leaders representing overseas Filipino workers (OFW) on Friday, Mayor Abby shared some of Makati’s best practices in terms of enforcing successful public health initiatives.

Understanding the concerns of OFWs regarding the high cost of healthcare in the Philippines, Binay said it is possible for ordinary citizens to access these benefits if leaders have “strong political will and genuine commitment to public service.”

Photos courtesy of My Makati/Facebook

Mayor Abby highlighted the city’s success in leveraging tax revenues from the business sector to fund a comprehensive public health program, integrating technology-driven innovations.

The local government executive cited as example the Yellow Card program, which includes subsidized hospitalization at the city-run Ospital ng Makati (OsMak).

“A Yellow Card patient’s hospital bill can reach millions, but we only charge a token fee of P500,” Mayor Abby told OFWs in Italy, eliciting enthusiastic applause.

She also mentioned that Makati City shoulders the maintenance medications of citizens struggling with hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and more, alongside free dialysis and insulin for eligible patients.

For senior citizens aged 70 and above, full doses of maintenance medications are delivered monthly to their homes, reinforcing Makati’s commitment to preventive care.

Mayor Abby also announced the inclusion of the costly shingles vaccine, provided free to Yellow Card holders, and highlighted the city’s partnership with Makati Medical Center (MMC).

The agreement with MMC allows the city government of Makati to pay for the full cost of diagnostics and therapeutic services of residents that are not available at OsMak.

Makati’s public-private partnerships further enhance healthcare accessibility. The Makati Life Medical Center, which offers 24/7 outpatient and diagnostic services, is set to become fully operational this year, featuring a state-of-the-art digital PET/CT scanner.

It became the first hospital in the Philippines to acquire a digital PET/CT uMI 550 scanner that utilizes advanced artificial intelligence to enhance diagnostic precision by reconstructing images from comprehensive total-body data. It will also be made available for free to Yellow Card beneficiaries.

The city’s digital health information management system also ensures seamless access to medical records across health facilities, promoting efficient and coordinated care.

During her visit to Rome, Binay also had the opportunity of meeting Pope Francis at the Mayors and Governors Summit organized by the Vatican last Thursday, May 16.

“The audience with the Pope was a crucial moment, allowing us to discuss our climate strategies and challenges in line with his call to action in Laudate Deum,” she said.

Mayor Abby joined other local government leaders from all over the world in a global roundtable where innovative and scalable solutions for climate resilience were showcased.

Her participation in the global roundtable underscored Makati’s involvement in leading climate action, sharing scalable solutions and reinforcing global commitments to resilience.


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