The local government of Valenzuela’s increase of investment for health and the City Health Office’s (CHO) geriatric program paved the way to the city’s newest milestone as one of the “Champions of Health Governance” in the country, distinguished by Merck Sharp & Dohme, the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership, and the Ateneo School of Government, at the Bayleaf, Intramuros, tonight, June 20, 2013.
The Champions for Health Governance (CHG) is an initiative recognizing top performing Local Government Units (LGUs) for excellent and efficient implementation of their local health programs on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5 and 6. Evaluation and screening of the health programs were based on their effectiveness, innovativeness, community engagement, local leadership, and transparency and accountability.
Valenzuela City’s presentation of its heath governance is anchored on the Aquino Health Agenda (AHA), through Administrative Order No. 2010-0036, known as the“Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” (KP), which seeks to ensure equitable access to quality health care by all Filipinos beginning with those in the lowest income quintiles.
Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian attributes the success of the city health programs not only to his efficient medical team, but also to all who believed and supported his accountability and transparency platforms. “The trust of our taxpayers needs to be repaid by quality service that can improve lives, and health governance is one its essential forms,” Mayor Win said.
Based on the Department of Health’s (DOH) LGU scorecard for Valenzuela City in 2012, CHO has exceeded the target budget allocation for health programs. The city is already at 23.49%, which is 1.49% higher than the 22% DOH target for 2016. The total city budget allotted for health, nutrition and environment is PhP 471,104,268.74.
Aside from the large budgetary support of the local government to its health advocacies, the city’s geriatric program, “Dalaw Ni Dok Kay Lolo at Lola,” was also recognized by the board of judges for its novelty and innovativeness.
A brainchild of CHO Head, Dr. Jaime Exconde, this home visit program caters mostly to indigent senior citizens from different barangays in the city. Since they are incapable of long journeys just to seek for medical attention, a “Dalaw Team” consisted of a physician, dentist, nurse, and physical therapist, mobilized through an ambulance, will be the one to go where they are to take care of them.
Patients are prioritized based on their medical condition so that an intensified home visit and proper treatment would be given. Those who are critically ill will be referred to the nearest tertiary hospital for further evaluation and management. Patients who need laboratory tests and diagnostic examinations are referred to the city government facilities, where services are free of charge.
Additional components of this program include: (a) Gamot Handog Para kay Lolo at Lola Program (booklets are given to qualified indigent elderlies, entitling them of free medications, laboratory, and diagnostic tests); (b) Handog Gandang Ngiti kay Lolo at Lola (free dental and oral examination, tooth extraction, and giving of free dentures are done every Thursday); (c) Physical Therapy for Lolo and Lola Program (disability management through the use of ENS (electrical nerve stimulator) and ROM (range of motion) exercises to prevent functional loss due to paralysation and disability, scheduled every Friday); (d) Immunization for Elderlies (“flu and pneumococcal” vaccines serve as prophylaxis to protect and prevent further development of respiratory illnesses); and (5) Health Education (emphasis is given on the importance of compliance to medications, lifestyle modification, self-care, and health care teachings to domestic members, to improve the quality of life of the elderlies and to help them become capable and productive considering their advanced age).
Dr. Bernadette Bordador of CHO shared that, “the ‘Dalaw ni Dok para kay Lolo at Lola’ is a product of a geriatric training that one of our doctors once attended. This connotes the responsive stance of our entire medical team toward the social protection.”
The PhP 200,000.00 prize received by the city health department will be used to augment its cervical cancer screening projects and other vital programs.
Valenzuela City, together with Tayabas, Quezon; Carmona, Cavite; San Pablo, Zamboanga del Sur; and Anilao, Iloilo, were the top five finalists of the nationwide search, participated by 48 local government units in the Philippines.