Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso has revealed that the city government will soon provide free temporary residences for the employees of the Manila Health Department.
“The city government will start in a few weeks the vertical housing program. We want to uplift the standards of our employees,” said Domagoso during Monday’s Consultative Meeting with the Medical Health Sector in Manila at Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros.
“We opted to choose at least some areas just to begin with so that our health workers in the health sector, from administrative workers to doctors, where they could have a place they could call their own,” the mayor said.
“That is our dream for you. We want your suggestions, your challenges, in your own offices,” he said.
With the revelation, Domagoso sought to uplift the standards of MHD employees so they could perform better.
“What we want to do is to be more efficient in the delivery of service. The three minimum basic needs are healthcare, education, and housing,” he said.
“We will build a housing for the health center, that is for the Manila Health Department employees. This is a two-bedroom design as long as you remain in the service,” said Domagoso.
But the day the employee retires, he has to vacate the housing and pass it on to others still in the service, he added.
Domagoso reiterated the department’s plan to build “Super Health Centers”, where the housing residences of the MHD employees will also be situated.
Other Super Health Centers, however, will be created without vertical housing, he said.
Domagoso wants to declog the hospitals, so he plans to make the Super Health Centers pass the Philhealth requirement, complete with advanced equipment and laboratories for diagnostics.
“I want the people of Manila to trust again our health centers. I am a product of a health center. And I was immunized in a health center,” said Domagoso.
For his part, Acting City Health Officer Dr. Arnold Pangan said: “Aside from the usual consultation, we will place laboratories, we will place animal bite clinic, and if possible, we will place a one-stop-shop for city hall transactions in order to decongest the city hall.”
“We chose four which are big health centers”•Pedro Gil, Fabella, Aurora Health Center in District I, and the Public Health Laboratory. Our plan is to place the health center on the ground floor, and probably on the second and third floors the parking, and lastly on the fourth will be the vertical housing for our city hall employees,” he said.
For those that will not meet the requirements of Philhealth, Pangan said they will become specialty clinics or wellness centers.
These are a diabetes clinic for one health center, a halfway home for cancer patients, for COPD patients, autism or cerebral palsy clinics, women’s wellness center, adolescent counseling clinic, or treatment hub for HIV patients.
These are the possible wellness clinics the MHD could come up with.
Once these are done, patients who are diagnosed, Pangan urged the doctors to refer them to these specialty clinics.
“We plan to put up these specialty centers per district. This will also help in decongest the hospitals in Manila,” he said.
During the meeting, Pangan also showed designs of these Super Health Centers and specialty clinics.
He said in Manila, at present there are six lying-in clinics, down from 12. Since the six are non-performing, with the approval of the Mayor, these were closed. At present, there are 57 health centers.
“Now, because of the Universal Healthcare Law, we will be in full implementation in two to three years. This was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in July 2019. All citizens of legal age will be a member of Philhealth. Instead of people going to health centers, they go to hospitals or other primary healthcare providers because they have diagnostics and laboratories,” said Pangan.
But with the creation of these Super Health Centers and specialty clinics, the people will come to these healthcare facilities to decongest the hospitals.