20M Filipinos to benefit from caravan
By Gelyka Ruth R. Dumaraos
The Department of Health (DOH) recently launched it surgical caravan to provide free medical and surgical assistance to indigent patients.
According to Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo, the DOH is eyeing 20 million Filipinos to be covered by the surgical caravan nationwide.
“Their medical needs can now be addressed immediately at no cost to our indigent patients,” the director said at the launch of surgical caravan in Marinduque last July.
At the Dr. Damian Reyes Provincial Hospital in Boac, Marinduque, over 91 patients were evaluated and assessed fit to undergo various surgical procedures by doctors from the Rizal Medical Center (RMC).
The RMC doctors underwent a total of 12 major surgeries including thyroidectomy, hernia and hydrocoelectomy; and scores of minor surgeries excising cysts, lipomas, breast masses and skin tags. There were 42 referral/transfer cases ranging from giant tumor, goiter, osteoma, hypospadias, fistulain-ano, nasal polyps and colon mass. There were three emergency surgeries that had to be done immediately.
Marinduque governor Carmencita Reyes said the DOH program is a big help for the people of Marinduque, especially in far flung communities where there is a scarcity of health workers. She also stressed the importance of nutrition in the province, that is why they are eyeing to do more campaign on health and wellness within the province.
She also calls on the DOH to help them have full time doctors in the hospital.
For his part, Dr. Janairo affirmed that DOH will continue to support the local governments for the communities’ health development.
He said that DOH is doing its best to attend to the underserved places nationwide and that in terms of healthcare services and programs for the poor, there is more to come.
Director Janairo revealed that the government allocated PhP3 billion pesos under the 2017 General Appropriations Act for the surgical caravan which will go around the country.
Visiting hospitals who will provide medical support and assistance in other provinces includes Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) which will serve in Oriental and Occidental Mindoro; Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital and Ospital ng Palawan in Palawan; and Rizal Medical Center in Romblon.
PhilHealth, together with the DOH Medical Assistance Program, will shoulder the fees that come with the surgical procedures.