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Naga City Healthcare: Getting better in the midst of challenges

By Brandon Jon Yulolo

SINCE the re-election of Mayor Nelson Legacion in 2022, the City Health Office said that it is on a steady way to regaining their ground after the damages incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It, however, said that there are a few gaps within the area of local healthcare that need to be addressed.

Dr. Ronnel Mejaro of the CHO said that in terms of national administrative change under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. not much is affected in terms of management. The progress of the recovery is stable since the Department of Health will be mainly focusing on technical support and the local health units are the ones in charge of the local health care system management.

“DOH provides us with technical support, provisions of some basic needs like medicines and vaccine, as well as health infrastructures. The management, on the other hand, is being undertaken by the public servants in the local setting. Since we have a local chief executive and city health officers intact within our healthcare system, we can still manage properly when it comes to our locality. Still, we will be following the mandated procedures of the DOH and other allied healthcare practitioners kasi they will really be the one to help us on the aspect of technicalities. Dahil dyan, more or less the same naman yung progress ng CHO Naga.” said Dr. Mejaro.

Since the inception of the new administration, the president has not appointed yet a secretary for the DOH, saying that he is still waiting for the health situation to normalize. Because of such policy, the Filipino people have raised their concern as to how the government will be able to manage health related issues on a national and local scale.

National and local government health officials have responded to this concern, saying that the DOH as well as the local health units can handle health-related matters even though a new health secretary has not yet been named.

“I think this highlights the strength of the local healthcare units all over the Philippines since they will be the one who will mainly provide services to the people. The only missing piece in this situation is the one who will perform as the captain of the ship.

“Anyway, we still have highly trained and skilled DOH personnel and officials who can order the LGUs to perform their mandated tasks so that the harmonious pace of the country’s health care units is maintained without an appointed DOH secretary. But of course, we will need to have a leader to function properly and be more organized,” the medical doctor said.

Dr. Mejaro pointed out several difficulties in the provision of healthcare services due to the financial and resource damages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the solutions that could be taken to appropriately address them.

“We have problems on providing basic medications for illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and even the common cough and cold medications that are given out free of charge. As a facility, we take care of the needs of patients, such as the conducting medical checkups and the implementation of disease prevention. Within our services, syempre hindi mawawala diyan yung situation na there are no available medications and that the patients themselves have to spend money in order to get medicine. Dati kasi we are capable of giving those out but unfortunately, naapektuhan kasi yun ng pandemic,” he said.

He also added that one of the strategies of every health care system is the establishment of well-developed intra and interlocal linkages or partners in health in accordance with the goal of providing Universal Health Care for All.

“For something as essential as healthcare, teamwork within the organization is a very vital aspect in the improvement of service delivery,” Dr. Mejaro concluded.


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