THE Department of Health (DOH) has announced it will accept indigent patients referred to it by the Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko Foundation (KKMK) in four government hospitals in Quezon City, after the signing of an agreement between the department and the foundation on Wednesday.
In a memorandum signed on October 5 by Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial and Orlando Mercado, president of KKMK Foundation, the patients referred to the DOH by the foundation will be accommodated at the East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Quirino Memorial Medical Center and Amang Rodriquez Hospital.
“I have known the work of Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko Foundation for many years and am aware of the millions of patients it has helped in the past four decades. I have also worked with similar foundations and know their power to reach out to the unreachable, the poorest, the most vulnerable. As Secretary of Health, my commitment is to make sure that the poorest 20 million Filipinos have complete access to health care. We have the resources and the will to do it. But we cannot do it alone,” Ubial said.
“KKMK is celebrating its fortieth year this year and we are deeply honored to have been selected by the DOH under the leadership of Secretary Paulyn Jean Rossell-Ubial as a partner for Universal Health Care. Indeed, through the years, we have tried to mobilize the public to support the needs of indigent patients. But the vision of Secretary Ubial to work in partnerships with foundations like Kapwa shows that truly times have changed and new ways of working to meet the medical needs of the poor are needed,” Mercado said in a separate statement.
“Foundations like Kapwa, are indeed our partners in finding the patients, helping them and providing support for them to access the free medical, surgical and dental services of the DOH hospitals in Quezon City,” Ubial said after the signing of the memorandum of agreement, which was facilitated by the GMA Network.
“We see this as a simple beginning that could multiply in other parts of the country, as there is a great need to improve health literacy, and navigate patients through what may seem to be very complicated health care systems. Through Kapwa, we hope to create ‘fast lanes’ for indigent patients who will be automatically enrolled in PhilHealth, will receive a free check-up by December and all their children, parents, grandparents should be able to avail of services if they are ‘Kapwa patients’,” Ubial added.
“This partnership with the DOH that will provide free medical care for all KKMK patients in the hospitals of Quezon City reflects the new role of public service television in the area of “patient navigation”—or helping people who are lost in the system—to find their way toward the opportunities for treatment and care whether it is through PhilHealth or the direct provision of services. On our end, what we can do to support government efforts to achieve universal health coverage is to provide for the other needs of the families—transportation, temporary lodging and the ministry of presence. Patients need care. Families need support. There are psycho-social and spiritual needs that are part of recovery. The KKMK Foundation will start strengthening its capacity to provide for these social needs to complement medical care that is given by the DOH,” Mercado said.
“In keeping with the DOH theme ‘All for Health, Toward Health for All,’ I am delighted that this project is taking off and through the television program of Kapwa, be a way to inform people about the availability of services under the DOH and the Duterte Administration,” Ubial said.