Binay: Better health services in Makati

Abby Binay, Jojo Binay

FORMER Vice President Jejomar Binay has reiterated his intention to institute a medical assistance program with state-run hospitals like the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), Philippine Heart Center (PHC), and Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) for residents of the first district of Makati.

Binay is the congressional candidate for District 1 of Team Performance led by his daughter, Mayor Abby Binay.

The elder Binay said the tie-ups will further enhance the expanded health services of the city government under Mayor Abby, who announced more innovations in public health lined up by her administration at the proclamation rally of Team Performance held Friday.

“Making specialized health services in these state-run facilities accessible to residents of the city’s first district will enhance the benefits of the expanded health services that Mayor Abby has vowed to implement,” Binay said.

He added that his plan to allocate funds for the provision of additional equipment for the city-run Ospital ng Makati, including incubators and ventilators, was aligned with Mayor Abby’s commitment to the continuous modernization of the city-run hospital.

In her proclamation speech, Mayor Abby revealed plans to undertake new innovations in the health sector to improve access of residents to quality health care, particularly for those from the first district who live far from Ospital ng Makati (OsMak), which is located in Barangay Pembo in the second district.

The mayor vowed to provide solutions to the concerns of residents affected by the suspension of construction works on the 10-story OsMak 2 in Malugay Street in District 1, revealing three new initiatives her administration is set to implement.

First is the provision of hospice care to the elderly and infirm who have difficulty in going to the city-run Ospital ng Makati or the barangay health centers. The mayor said the city government will send qualified health experts to the homes of residents in need of hospice care to provide them with proper intervention and palliative care. Family members will also be trained on the proper way of caring for their ailing relative at home.

Next is the establishment of Urgent Care in the city’s barangay health centers, in addition to primary health care services they provide. Mayor Abby said the added service is aimed at providing immediate relief to patients in need of urgent medical attention, thus helping to allay their fears and anxiety.

On the other hand, the modernization of Ospital ng Makati (OsMak) will continue, with the addition of new equipment and facilities, more doctors and nurses, she said.

The mayor said that although she did not cause the problem, she will do everything to resolve it. She explained that the government, through the Commission on Audit, has suspended construction of the hospital because of adverse findings, which remain under investigation to establish whether or not there were irregularities or anomalies committed in its implementation.

In his introduction of Mayor Abby at the rally, VP Binay declared to thousands of supporters how proud he was of her exemplary leadership, citing her success in transforming the dismal state of public services after she took over from her predecessor, former acting mayor Kid Peña.

Binay, who served as Mayor of Makati for almost three decades before he was elected as Vice President, is a known advocate of quality health care for the masses. He gained international acclaim when his flagship health program, Yellow Card, was named a “Best Practice” by the Dubai International Awards in 2002.

Today, city residents, city government workers and even selected national government employees registered in the program enjoy subsidized hospitalization, free outpatient services, and free medicines, among other related benefits.

Another brainchild of Binay, the pioneering Blu Card program, pampers senior citizens with cash gifts, free movies, and other benefits that far exceed the provisions of the national law.

During his term as mayor, Makati was ranked second only to Japan in the Human Development Index (HDI) in a 2002 study conducted by the Policy Center of the AIM, outranking Malaysia, China and Indonesia. The criteria for HDI rankings – a tool developed by the United Nations – include life expectancy, adult literacy, school enrolment, educational attainment, and per capita GNP.