DOH Bicol gears up for universal heath care

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By Joseph John J. Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, 2Oct2013 – The Department of Health (DOH) regional office here took the front line in the advocacy for health as one of the key strategies for inclusive growth in Bicol region during a press conference held last week in observance of the Policy Development Research Month (PDRM) in September.

DOH Bicol Support to Operations chief Dr. Virgilio Ludovice told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) that the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (universal health care) advocacy of the Aquino Government typifies and respond to the health needs of every Filipino especially poor families in the countryside.

Ludovice said the advocacy is DOH’s main tool for the government’s campaign for inclusive growth. Under the program, strategies will be implemented foremost of which is acceleration of registration of poor families to the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) including granting of subsidy to poor families.

He said the program also provides for improvement of government hospitals and other health facilities and providing quality services especially to the poor. Additional assistance will also be given to areas with high incidence of poor families who have no access to basic health services.

Under the DOH’s Kalusugan Pangkalahatan advocacy, he added, the services that will be strengthened are family planning, responsible parenthood, newborn and child care through newborn screening, exclusive breastfeeding for six months for babies and vaccinations.

He furthered that fertility classes for the adolescents will also be conducted to give correct information on sexuality. For pregnant women and those who recently gave birth, pre and post natal check-ups will also be strengthened, tetanus toxoid vaccinations will be conducted.

Ludovice, together with Dr. Veronica Mateum, Philhealth Health Care Delivery Management Division Chief,, Jasmine Zantua, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Chief Economic Development Specialist and Felipe Salvosa II, Publications and Circulation Division Chief of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS), composed the panel for the press conference attended by the leading print and broadcast journalists of Albay and correspondents of national dailies.

Philhealth Bicol Field Operations Division chief David Escandor has also assured members who are using the new case rate under the sponsored program will benefit free services from their accredited public hospitals and lying-in clinics.

The KP advocacy is a means to achieve the millennium development goals for mothers, newborn and children by lowering maternal death and child mortality rates, tuberculosis HIV-AIDS and malaria deaths, non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood, cardiac arrest, kidney diseases among others. (PIA)

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