Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Agencies unite to push health programs for poor

BARANGAY health centers, rural health units (RHU), provincial hospitals and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) joined hands with the Cebu Provincial Government to hold medical undertakings for the poor.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, who was represented by Provincial Board (PB) Member Peter John Calderon, signed two memoranda of agreement (MOA) yesterday with the Department of Health.

VSMMC was represented by its chief Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr.

Calderon is the chairman of the PB committee on health.

The first MOA is for the “Cebu Province hospital modernization program” and the second MOA is for the inter-hospital linkages through the implementation of Kapit Bisig para sa Kalusugang Pangkalahatan (KB para KP) program.

“The bottom line is to connect barangay health stations to the RHUs (rural health units), to district hospitals and the regional hospitals and medical centers,” said DOH Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas, adding that private institutions are included.

Priority are poor families who are identified through the national household targeting system (NHTS), a data bank and an information management system that points to who and where the poor are in the country.

The family members are PhilHealth-insured, said Bernadas.

Married and single women, children and infants are listed, he said.

They are encouraged to visit health centers to be profiled for PhilHealth check-up accreditation, a first step before they can avail themselves of free consultation and medicines, said Bernadas.

Quality service

The MOA for the Cebu Province’s hospital modernization program aims to provide quality health services and facilities through “proactive inter-hospital linkage on drugs, medical supplies, specialty training for health personnel, specialized diagnostic/laboratory procedures, provision of manpower for medical-surgical-dental mission/outreach activities, and other services considered necessary.”

Part of the program is the implementation of the “Cebu medicine consignment system,” in which Capitol will buy medicines from VSMMC to supply provincial hospitals.

The system will address the lack of medicines in provincial hospitals and will shorten the procurement process as there will no longer be more bidding.

Provincial General Services Office (PGSO) Head Siegfred Sepe said this is allowed by law, if it will be government-to-government transaction.

And by the name “consignment,” all unused medicines may be returned to the VSMMC.


The “KB para sa KP” program is a DOH major activity in its Millennium Development Goals commitment, which is to improve delivery of health services and facilities to Cebu’s marginalized constituents and the DOH’s High Impact5 strategy.

High Impact5 strategy includes maternal care, child care, infant care; HIV/AIDs prevention, promotion of service delivery network.

MOA provides that provincial hospitals will be the host for health services and will provide medical staff and ancillary/laboratory services for the screening and preparation and post-operative care and PhilHealth benefits.

Specialists of visiting DOH-retained hospitals will provide actual services, such as surgery, and the supplies and equipment.

The signatories of the “KB para sa KP” program are Davide, Aquino for VSMC and Bernadas.

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