DOH Mimaropa pushes for a medical assistance program bureau

Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated that he will push the creation of a bureau for the DOH- Medical Assistance Program (MAP) during his opening message at the 2017 Re-Orientation on DOH-MAP for Luzon Cluster compose of MAP coordinators from the regions of MIMAROPA, CALABARZON (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Quezon), Bicol, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and the National Capital Region (NCR) held in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on November 30, 2017.

“There is already a need to establish a Public Assistance Bureau that will provide a more streamlined, consolidated and standardized system of service delivery network for patients in need of medical assistance,” Director Janairo emphasized.

“We need to create a permanent agency not just a stop-gap solution that could be dissolved anytime. And one that does not restrict the use of MAP funds”, he added.

The DOH medical assistance program is created to provide financial support to indigent patients seeking medical examination, consultation, treatment and rehabilitation. It is made available to all government hospitals and selected private health facilities duly approved by the DOH.

From January 1 to November 30, 2017, DOH MIMAROPA MAP recorded a total of 20,624 patients who were given medical assistance in the province of Palawan; 4,774 patients in Oriental Mindoro; 3,186 in Occidental Mindoro; and 152 in Marinduque.

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A total of Php92,779,584.45 was paid in hospital bills coming from DOH MAP and congressional allocations.

According to Janairo, patients in MIMAROPA needing more specialized care are brought to Manila and given accommodation at the regional office while awaiting their scheduled treatment. All their basic needs are provided for during their stay including a standby 24/7 transportation solely for their use to and from the hospital.

A DOH staff is assigned to patients without companions to assist, conduct follow-ups, and aid them to and from the hospital and to their place of residence once their treatment is done and they have fully recovered.

“The medical assistance program has now evolved into a bigger service delivery network. We also have more funds to spend coming from various government agencies including Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and allocations from the Senate and Congress including local government units (LGUs),” Janairo explained.

“A MAP bureau will not just assure access to appropriate, medically necessary, and quality health care services for all indigent patient, it will also provide a responsive and timely service and accountability for the use of its resources, including a database that can be used for research,” he concluded. —

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