By: Saul Pa-a
BINAN CITY, Laguna — Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Dr. Francisco T. Duque III on Friday swore in 1,993 medical professionals and allied health services as a new breed of health workers to be deployed to the Calabarzon region to ensure the implementation of the government’s Universal Health Care (UHC) program.
Duque, along with DOH 4-A (Calabarzon) Director Dr. Eduardo C. Janairo and national and local health officials, congratulated the newly sworn-in government health professionals who are now part of the massive force for better health delivery services and health agents, in pursuit of the UHC law that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I am happy to see an excellent cadre of health professionals all set to take part in nation-building, through providing quality health services that will make every Filipino reach his or her full potential,” Duque said during the event that was held at the Alone Sports Complex here.
The new human resources for health (HRH) ready for deployment to the Calabarzon provinces consisted of 324 for Cavite; 403 for Laguna; 410 for Batangas; 360 for Rizal; and 496 for Quezon for a composite team of doctors, dentists, nurses, medical technologists, midwives, and pharmacists.
The health secretary described the successful signing of the UHC Act as a step towards restructuring the health care system – one that shifts its emphasis towards a primary care-oriented system.
He said the strategy to attain UHC is contained in the DOH medium-term health agenda FOURmula One Plus for Health, anchored on the four health reform pillars of Financing, Service Delivery, Regulation, and Governance across achieving Performance Accountability.
He added that the pillars were established to judiciously manage financial capital and human resources under an environment conducive to healthful choices and service delivery networks.
“Primary care is never primary care without you,” Duque told the newly sworn-in team of health professionals.
He said the DOH’s commitment is to ensure a functional service delivery network where primary health care translates to “every Filipino family is taken care of by a primary care provider team.”
“Enhanced coordination and integration facilitate adequate care for people who have limited financial resources that hinder their access to health services,” he said.
Duque also thanked the corps of medical professionals who opted to work with the DOH despite the many challenges in the past and chose to pursue public health where passion and dedication are paramount in government service.
“Our fight for quality and affordable health services through the UHC will not be on full swing without you on board,” he said, citing their commitment to an equitable, people-oriented health system for all Filipinos.
He also challenged the thousands of new government health professionals “to advance primary care and make the most out of the country’s limited but growing resources to bring quality care to every Juan and Juana.”
The DOH chief and other health officials also witnessed the ceremonial signing of the commitment of Trust, Faith, and Effective and Efficient Health Services Delivery between Janairo and Human Resource for Health (HRH) representative Graham Inquito.
In welcoming the new health workers to the region, Janairo described the new health care providers as “makabagong lingkod-bayan para sa bayan” (new breed of public servants for the country) who will fill in the shortage of health agents and a massive force to help achieve the health department’s target of 95 percent measles vaccination.
“Although we no longer have the Dengvaxia (vaccine), we still have to focus in addressing dengue and those who have been affected by the Dengvaxia vaccine in the region,” Janairo said.
Meanwhile, outgoing Provincial Board Member and Laguna 2nd District representative-elect Ruth Mariano Hernandez expressed gratitude to the DOH for augmenting the health care providers in the region.
“We are proud to have you (new health professionals) as our partners now because as health care providers, your work is not just a job, but rather a mission to ensure the wellness and well-being of our constituents. Because the disease now is high-tech, there is the need for equally high-tech health intervention,” Hernandez added. (PNA)