DOH seeks extensive healthcare for Filipinos

DAGUPAN CITY, May 16 (PIA) — Healthcare for everybody.

This, in essence, was the message of Dr. George P. Calugay of the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the thrust of government to improve the general health condition of the public.

This thrust is being worked out through the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Project, widening of health insurance coverage, and improvement of public health facilities, said Calugay, the Pangasinan Health Team Leader for the Center for Health Development of the DOH.

These programs are known collectively as the “Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” program, he said during the KBP Forum at the Philippine Information Agency Office on Thursday.

First among the programs is the implementation of the Millennium goals, which aims for the reduction of deaths among newly-born and children under five years old, reduction of maternal deaths, and elimination of infectious diseases and avoidance of unhealthy lifestyle practices.

Calugay said the government targets to reduce maternal deaths to no more than 52 per 10,000 births.

Morbidity from malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, HIV, and other infectious diseases are also being addressed and so are the non-communicable diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, he added.

These diseases can be eliminated through the promotion of healthy lifestyle such as the avoidance of cigarettes, alcohol, improper diet, and stress.

The department has seen the improvement on these parameters over the years, although the goals are still yet to be reached, according to him.

Expansion of health insurance coverage comes next with the sponsorship of families that are earning no more than P3,500 a month to PhilHealth.

The department, local government units, non-government organizations, and private individuals are now sponsoring these families, he said.

Finally, the program is being helped by the extensive upgrading of health facilities, such as district hospitals, rural health units, and lying-in units, he said, mentioning in particular the improvement of the Region 1 Medical Center here and the provincial hospital in San Carlos City and the construction of rehabilitation centers around the province.

“The DOH is really embarking on the implementation of the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan to provide healthcare to the poorest of the poor,” he said.

The province, he said, has assembled community health teams, which are now conducting house-to-house medical services, especially in poor communities.

“We (DOH) will not be able to attain these goals without the participation of other sectors,” he stressed, urging the public for more participation. (PIA 1, Pangasinan)

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