Manila Doctors Hospital received a special recognition from the International Hospital Federation (IHF) for its “initiative, agility and extraordinary capacity to innovate under extraordinary circumstances.”
The IHF cited three notable endeavors, including MDH for its Healthcare Equality & Accessibility for the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD) program which amplified its efforts during the pandemic.
“In the face of this pandemic, we strive to find solutions to bring quality care to our patients. We are helping to change the landscape of healthcare in these challenging times by responding to the needs of even those with disabilities,” said MDH president Arlene Ledesma.
“This is part of Manila Doctors Hospital’s commitment to providing exceptional service amid the coronavirus pandemic,” Ledesma added.
The HEARD Program is the only one of its kind in the country initiated by the hospital’s Corporate Social Responsibility office.
The deaf community is known to make less frequent visits to health care facilities because of poor access to adequate communications. The pandemic – which brought about the added barrier of using face masks, social distancing and PPEs – provided yet another barrier to communication.
MDH trained its staff in Filipino Sign Language (FSL), ensuring each work shift and department has at least one person fluent in FSL Not only that, there is teleconferencing consultation with FSL-capable doctors as well as tailored prescription for the hearing impaired.
The HEARD Program, in partnership with the Development and Accessibility Fund for the Deaf, AXA and the Healthcare Access Team for the Deaf on COVID-19 provides online service allowing deaf patients to get free medical consultation and access to information and support about COVID-19.
The goal of the program is to give the deaf access to healthcare without comprising their health in time of the COVID pandemic.