Department of Health to Establish Primary Care Centers Nationwide

MODERNIZING PRIMARY CARE Secretary Teodoro Herbosa leads the press conference in Pasay City on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, on the modernization plan of the Health department, particularly in the primary care sector. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA
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The Department of Health (DoH) has recently announced its plan to establish a network of modern primary care facilities across the Philippines. This initiative, called Bagong Urgent Care and Ambulatory Services (Bucas), aims to address the long queueing times and overcrowding issues in public hospitals, benefiting approximately 28 million indigent Filipino families.

Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa explained that the concept behind Bucas is similar to outpatient clinics found in public hospitals or malls. By decentralizing primary care services, the DoH hopes to alleviate the burden on public hospitals and provide more accessible healthcare to communities. Lack of primary care services in certain areas often leads to overcrowding in hospitals, resulting in long waiting times for patients.

The Bucas facilities will be constructed adjacent to existing state properties, such as state universities and colleges. These facilities will serve as extensions of government hospitals, offering a range of primary care services including immunization, nutrition, and diagnosis for children, pregnant women, and senior citizens. The goal is to ensure that individuals in both urban and rural areas have access to quality healthcare services.

Secretary Herbosa emphasized the importance of not neglecting those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. To address this concern, the DoH has submitted a proposal to the World Bank to secure funding for extending primary care services to 250 barangays in far-flung areas. The screening process has already commenced, and many barangays have expressed their interest in being included in the priority list.

The initial plan is to establish 28 Bucas facilities nationwide. These facilities will be equipped with modern medical equipment and staffed by trained healthcare professionals. By bringing primary care services closer to communities, the DoH hopes to improve health outcomes and reduce the strain on public hospitals.

The establishment of Bucas facilities aligns with the DoH’s Modernization for Health Equity framework, which was developed during the 2nd National Health Sector Meeting held from January 29 to February 1. This framework aims to enhance healthcare services and ensure equitable access to quality care for all Filipinos.

By investing in modern primary care facilities, the DoH is taking a proactive approach towards improving the overall healthcare system in the Philippines. The focus on primary care services, such as immunization and early diagnosis, is crucial for preventing the progression of diseases and promoting overall well-being.

In conclusion, the Department of Health’s plan to build a nationwide network of modern primary care facilities, known as Bucas, is a significant step towards improving healthcare access and reducing overcrowding in public hospitals. By prioritizing primary care services and bringing them closer to communities, the DoH aims to enhance health outcomes for indigent Filipino families. This initiative, aligned with the Modernization for Health Equity framework, demonstrates the government’s commitment to providing quality healthcare services for all.

Source: The Manila Times

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