Gov. Arthur Yap, Bohol’s 26th provincial chief executive, is bringing to towns—and making it constant—his art of conversing with the people through their local government workers.
He launched in Loon on Friday the “Tingog sa Mga Bol-anon,” effectively his identity version of the then capitol weekly reporting to the Boholanos via media forum dubbed the “Kita ug Ang Gobernador.”
Access to quality health care, universal health insurance and social pension for the indigent topped the concerns addressed in the governor’s conversation with the municipal and barangay officials.
The event was held at the existing Cong. Natalio Castillo Memorial Hospital, one of the provincial government district hospitals damaged during the strong earthquake in 2013.
The construction of the new Loon district hospital on a new site will be finished this October, according to hospital chief Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez.
Lopez is also the head of the provincial government health cluster and supervisor of the 10 government hospitals run by the province.
Yap’s administration is confronting another challenge—the overcapacity now experienced by five of the 10 hospitals in relation to their existing number of beds against the ever-exceeding patient occupancy.
These are the hospital in Inabanga, which has already incurred a 354% overcapacity, and hospitals in Catigbian, Candijay, Clarin and Talibon
The governor was also joined in the Tingog inaugural episode, aired live and heard worldwide, by Provincial Board Member Ricky Masamayor, Provincial Health Officer Reymoses Cabagnot, Mayor Elvi Peter Relampagos and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Carmelita Tecson, among others.
Yap and Tecson distributed to the barangay captains Philhealth member data record (MDR) forms.
FALSE INFO CORRECTED
Yap corrected and stopped the malicious spread of false information that he is allegedly “privatizing” the government hospitals run by the province.
His thrust is actually encouraging the private sector to invest in the 10 hospitals in specifically upgrading their diagnostic equipment capacity.
While investors can provide dialysis/diagnostic/laboratory facilities on a public-private partnership, the government still owns and manages the hospitals.
Rates for equipment use and service can be formulated by applying Philhealth rates, thus, avoiding lowly patients suffer from cost.
OPEN DIALYSIS CENTERS
Initially, Yap planned to open dialysis centers in the hospitals in Talibon and two other provincial government hospitals which are in Jagna and Carmen.
Having 10-15 seats each, these centers will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, decongesting the dialysis centers in Tagbilaran where most of Bohol’s hospitals, especially private ones, are concentrated.
Many have died because of lack of access to diagnostic services for early detection of serious diseases, which would have been prevented, according to the governor whose mother died of colon cancer.
Dialysis patients from distant localities have to wait in line or list for services at the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City, which is also a government facility but supervised by the Department of Health (DOH).
Those who are at the tail of the list are forced to go to costly private hospitals, or they go far home unattended to come back the following day or on reset schedule more days after.
Also, Yap would not want the senior citizens suffer from lack of even maintenance medicines or drugs which are provided through the LGUs and their health centers.
RELEASE INDIGENT PENSION
Yap expressed disgust over delayed releases of the monthly social pension for the indigent senior citizens.
The governor asked his “igso,” Sen. Bong Go to help in pressuring the concerned national agency to release the monthly social benefits fast.
The Boholano-friendly senator and former special assistant to the president assured in his reply text message to “igso” Yap that he will do strongly intervene for the release of the pension.
YAP INVOLVES BARANGAY LEADERS
Yap enjoined the barangay leaders to actively engage in promoting sanitation because it is health itself.
He told them to give him list of the barangays having less access to clean drinking, potable water.
The governor also asked them to update him of their pending assistance requests to the provincial government which were overtaken by the recent election period until the change of administration.
Another health concern raised involved the sustained promotion of the nutrition of children while July has been coincidentally observed as the National Nutrition Month.
PROMOTE GOOD DIET
With the prevalence of “lifestyle-attributed diseases,” the Yap administration is programming the promotion of healthy, good diet.
Promoting right diet also relates to agriculture and Yap cited how farmers can support herbal care needs.
This is while the province at the same time improves the diagnostic capability of government hospitals for early detection and prevention of ailments.
Yap is confident that even with the public-private partnership in equipping hospitals with diagnostic facilities, there will be no balance or no extra-billing by applying can be Universal Health Care Law rates.
When price of health care is cheaper or affordable to the ordinary, people’s living condition improve, the governor said.