The Valenzuela City local government is renovating barangay health stations based on World Health Organization and Department of Health standards.
City Mayor REX Gatchalian led today the inauguration of Maysan Health Station in Barangay Maysan, the first of the 19 newly renovated health stations in the city that have been redesigned following DOH guidelines.
Mayor REX said the rest, along with four brand-new ones, will be inaugurated in the coming weeks.
As prescribed by the Department of Health, each health station has a porch, an admission area, a treatment and consultation room, a prenatal and infant examination room, a midwife station, a Tuberculosis - Directly Observed Treatment, Short course (TB-DOTS) room, a pantry and a toilet. The smallest health station has a floor area of 60 square meters, while the biggest measures 85 square meters.
The buildings were designed by architectural firm Luis and Associates Architects and Environmental Planners, which specializes in health facilities. Its principal, Ar. Prosperidad Luis, is a former World Health Organization (WHO) consultant.
“All health stations now share a single exterior design, which makes it easy for clients to find them,” Mayor REX said.
Meanwhile, renovation of the remaining 25 health stations and three maternity lying-in clinics are underway.
Mayor Rex said that those old health stations that do not meet the minimum space requirements of the DOH will be relocated instead of renovated, or a new health center will be built on another lot as replacement.
With the opening of the four new ones, Valenzuela City now has 48 health stations, or around one health station for every 12,000 residents. This exceeds the international standard of one health station for every 20,000.
The city government is planning to increase the number of health stations to 60 in three years, Mayor REX added. He also said there are plans to connect health stations and the Valenzuela Emergency Hospital connected in a network of databases of client’s medical information.
Mayor Rex said that besides improving health centers, the local government is also hiring more health professionals.
A budget of PhP261, 400,716 has been allotted to the city health department for 2014, a 15-percent increase from that of last year.
DOH Undersecretary for NCR and Southern Luzon Teodoro Herbosa during the inauguration ceremonies of Maysan Health Station commended the local government for investing heavily on on primary healthcare.
“Kung magtatayo ang lokal na pamahalaan ng magagandang health stations, tataas ang antas ng pangangalaga ng kalusugan ng mga mamamayan. Ano ang kapalit noon? Isang malusog na siyudad. Pag malusog, maraming nagtatrabaho. Pag maraming nagtatrabaho, marami ang kumikita. Pag maraming kumikita, maaalis ang kahirapan (When the local government builds quality health stations, it is improving health care for its constituents. This results in a healthy city. A healthy city means more working people. More working people means more earners. More earners means poverty ended),” said Undersecretary Herbosa.
Healthcare is among the so-called “Five Pillars of Good Governance”, or the five priority areas of the Valenzuela City local government, along with job generation, housing, education, and trade and industry.
The local government is also planning to build 10 barangay complexes that would each have a barangay hall, a police community precinct, a fire station, a health station, a day care center, a social welfare office, and a basketball court.