National Hospital Week: Strong Hospital and Community Partnership for a Healthy Citizenry

National Hospital Week - St Luke's Medical Center
St Luke’s Medical Center – image from Wikipedia

In line with Proclamation No. 181, s.2003, August 6 to12 of every year is designated as National Hospital Week, with the Department of Health (DOH) and DOH hospitals nationwide participating in the said celebration. 

For the 2019 celebration of National Hospital Week, the theme is “Universal Health Isakatuparan…Pagkakaisa’t Pagtutulungan ng Ospital at Komunidad Kailangan,” (which translates to Universal Health Implementation… Unity and Cooperation of Hospital and Community Needed). The National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) was named to lead the celebrations.

The theme is significant at this time, as the DOH moves to implement universal health care in the country. The full cooperation of the government and the entire nation is needed to make universal health care a reality.

A Unity Walk is scheduled in the early morning of August 6th starting at the NKTI entrance gate. The unity walk is a symbolic act to renew the hospital’s commitment to serve the sick.

The celebration aims to promote awareness on the health programs and social roles of hospital in partnership with other sectors and the community in maintaining a healthy citizenry.

On February 20 of this year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed  into law the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act. The law guarantees equitable access to quality and affordable healthcare services for all Filipinos. It automatically enrols all Filipino citizens into the National Health Insurance Program, and expands PhilHealth coverage to include free medical consultations and laboratory tests. The law is expected to lower Filipinos’ health-related expenses.

The aim is particularly important, as can be seen in what’s currently happening in the country with the declaration of a dengue epidemic. The Department of Health has been giving out guidelines not only for hospitals but also for communities to follow, so as to prevent people from getting sick with dengue.

Getting sick and getting hospitalized is never easy. While health care costs continue to be more and more expensive, the Universal Health Care law is expected to provide some relief to Filipinos with its aim of making healthcare available to all.

What can ordinary citizens do for its share in the hospital-community partnership to ensure a healthy citizenry?

  1. Educate yourself about the law. Know what to expect from the Universal Healthcare law from this Rappler article.
  2. Respect our healthcare professionals. 
  3. Be health-conscious. Eat properly, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

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