OpinionsEcon 101Health care for NegOr

Health care for NegOr


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Negros Oriental Gov. Manuel “Chaco” Sagarbarria made public  his plans to  improve the delivery of health services in the Province, and to implement a zero-bill policy at the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital, and in all District Hopsitals here, and Community Primary Hospitals around the Province.

He also aims to provide comprehensive, integrated, and quality healthcare through teamwork and partnerships with other sectors.

At present,  the main hospital which caters to the health care needs of the Province is NOPH. It was established in 1945 by the U.S. Army as a 250-bed government-owned teaching hospital to provide medical services.

It has since expanded its facilities and services. It serves as the main referral hospital for seven District Hospitals, and seven Community Hospitals in the Province.

In addition to new medical equipment and facilities, the government wants to prioritize the procurement of medicines for the various hospitals, upgrade the provincial government’s health services, including 20 to 30 dialysis machines, expand the dialysis unit services since NOPH only has six dialysis machines, and the possibly provide dialysis procedure for free.

The programs pushed by Governor Chaco are timely.

In a study titled Healthcare Quality and Sufficiency as Perceived by Older Population in Metro Dumaguete by Enrique Oracion, Theorose Quilnet-Bustillo, and Chereisle Pyponco, and published in the Journal of Social Health (Vol. 3), the authors discussed the concept that in the Philippines,  health is an “economic issue”  due to a high household poverty rate, particularly in rural areas, with workers having low education and a lack of skills that limit their livelihood or employment opportunities but remain burdened with high dependency ratio which jeopardizes the health quality of every household member particularly the older persons.

This may be a situation wherein aging parents who have been widowed live with their married children, mainly for economic and social support.

In Metro Dumaguete, Bustillo (2015) established that the quality of life of older persons in her study were influenced by their income levels, which subsequently determined their health condition and well-being.

She also found that an inverse relationship between depression and quality of life of older persons, which suggests that those who worried more of poor health considered themselves having low quality of life.

The conclusion draws more weight from the brighter side of the perceived outstanding quality and sufficiency of the healthcare services as experienced by the older population, and support the general observations about older Filipinos having a positive outlook towards life and their immediate environment despite their failing physical abilities and chronic ailments relative to the social and financial support from their families and relatives.

The financial assistance and other benefits and privileges the government had provided must have also helped them cope with the increasing cost of getting sick.

The cultural expectation that children should support aging parents, especially on matters related to health, has not also disappeared.

Happy Mothers’ Day!


Author’s email: [email protected]





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