Archive for the Health Category

The Yellow Card of Makati: Your Passport to Longevity

Posted in Health, Makati's best with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2009 by markesparza

I haven’t seen any such card, more than the value of your credit card, except the Yellow Card of Makati. This is the most famous card, I guess, among the local government units in the country. It is no privy in the field because once you are a resident of Makati, one can hardly ask you if you have already the so-called Yellow Card.

How come this card became so famous? What really is Yellow Card?

The Makati Health Plus (MHP), better known as Yellow Card, entitles beneficiaries to free outpatient consultations and subsidized in-patient care in the fields of surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics, pediatrics, medicine, ENT, ophthalmology, dermatology and orthopedics at the city-run Ospital ng Makati (Osmak) in Bgy. Pembo.

Emergency cases are handled by the OsMak and its free-standing emergency care unit, the Acute Care Center (ACC) in Bgy. Bel-Air.

Makati residents are really privileged people here in the Philippines. They have been providing the needed care and attention by their beloved mayor Jejomar C. Binay. Mayor Jojo has been instituting health programs that are of dire needs of his constituents.

Program beneficiaries are also entitled to free check-ups or consultations at the city’s 27 fully-equipped barangay health centers, where medical services ranging from maternal and child care to elderly care, are available.

Medical services are not just available at the OsMak. Barangay health centers are capable of attending such services to the people. In the barangay level alone, the city government can immediately respond to medical needs, the basic mandate that a local government or a local public official should deliver.

The MHP program covers bona fide residents of Makati, including senior citizens, domestic helpers of legitimate residents, city government workers and employees of selected Makati-based government agencies, such as public school teachers, police and fire personnel.

MHP members are classified into four categories based on their monthly income. Members with a monthly income of P6,000 and below are categorized as MHP-I, identified through a yellow strip on the right-hand side of the card.

MHP-II cards, with a blue strip, are issued to those earning P6,001 to P12,000 monthly. The green-coded MHP-III cards are issued to those with a monthly income of P12,001 to P20,000, while the red-coded MHP-IV cards are for those earning P21,000 and above.

In case of hospitalization (in-patient care), an MHP-I beneficiary pays nothing if the total hospital bill is only P5,000 or lower. For bills of P5,001 and higher, only P200 is required as token payment. Meanwhile, the corresponding discounts on the total hospital bill granted to the other categories are as follows: MHP-II, 90 per cent; MHP-III, 85 per cent; MHP-IV, 75 per cent.

The Yellow Card program of Makati was selected as a “best practice” by the Dubai International Award for Best Practices in 2002 for its “outstanding contribution towards improving the living environment.”

That’s it! Yellow Card answers to your medical needs. More than this, yellow card is your passport to a longer life, more than any other cards can provide.

Kudos to Mayor Binay and the City of Makati. Mayor Binay really provides! Mayor Binay truly delivers! He has proven to all and sundry that the health sector is among his priorities.


Philippines being a Mother and Baby Friendly Country; Let’s start in Makati!

Posted in Health with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2009 by markesparza

Philippines being a Mother and Baby-Friendly Country? Why not?

To achieve this goal, we need to focus on the mothers, of course, through mother and baby-friendly advocacies and programs. Makati had already made the bold move to make this goal a reality. Under the leadership of Mayor Binay, of course.

In 2005, Makati became the country’s pioneer in promoting community-based breastfeeding advocacy when it launched the pilot program in Barangay Pembo, in collaboration with the Center for Health Development for Metro Manila (CHD-MM), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other agencies. The program formed part of national initiatives to promote the Philippines as a “Mother and Baby-Friendly Country” through the adoption of the National Framework for Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF).

The program was established to:

  1. Encourage more members to breastfeed their infants by increasing their awareness on the importance of breastfeeding and its advantages/ benefits to both the mother and the child;
  2. Correct misinformation and misconceptions on breastfeeding by providing tools for breastfeeding to the barangay and to other stakeholders;
  3. Highlight the critical role of a community-based breastfeeding support group/ peer support counselors;
  4. Emphasize partnerships between local, national and international agencies in implementing health programs; and
  5. Develop the skills of health workers in documenting their programs and activities.

To date, over 1,000 registered breastfeeding mothers in Barangay Pembo have received peer counseling from 21 trained volunteers who constitute the support group. After successfully replicating the program in 2006 in two other barangays, West Rembo and Pio del Pilar, the Makati Health Department earned a P380,000 grant from the WHO for the training of volunteers to form breastfeeding support groups for further program expansion in five more barangays of the city.

It is noteworthy that Mayor Binay has this heart for the mothers and babies. Being an orphan at an early age, the good Mayor sees the needs of mothers having enough support as they rear their children. His priorities, advocacies and programs are clearly evident of his humble and challenging beginnings.

Thumbs up for Mayor Binay and the City of Makati!

Binay and Makati’s Nutrition Program

Posted in Health with tags , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2009 by markesparza

The health sector is one closest to my heart. I come from a province that has high incidence of malnutrition. I must know this because I have relatives working at the Provincial Hospital and barangay health centers. Health and nutrition are not among the priorities of the local government, given that these are twin basic needs of the people and must be provided by leaders, not to mention their responsibilities under the Local Government Code of 1991.

That’s why when I get to know Makati and its Mayor, I was amazed that a local government, say a city life Makati has great health and nutrition services. It has also the best administrator and local chief executive in the person of Mayor Jejomar Cabauatan Binay who really cares a lot, especially in providing the basic needs of his constituents.

In my earlier post, I talked on the pressing problem brought about by the influenza A(H1N1) virus and the Makati health services under the leadership of Mayor Binay.

Aside from the Expanded Immunization Program of Mayor Binay, I want to present here the Nutrition Program being implemented in the premier City of Makati.

The Nutrition Office under the Makati Health Department has been implementing an integrated Nutrition Program focused particularly on high-risk groups like children, whom Mayor Jejomar C. Binay regards as the “richest human resources of the city.”

To promote nutritional adequacy among residents, the program includes regular weighing activities under “Operation Timbang,” nutrition information and education, micronutrients supplementation (Vitamin A, iron), center-based feeding and dry rationing, and emergency food assistance to families of underweight children.

The continuous advocacy and sustained drive for proper nourishment, especially among children in Makati, is guided by the belief of Mayor Binay that ensuring healthy minds and healthy bodies from generation to generation is crucial to building a strong foundation for the country’s future.

“We are, in fact, laying the foundation for them to become great leaders of the future,” says the Mayor.

Makati’s nutritional status continues to improve each year, as indicated by its declining malnutrition prevalence rate over a five-year period: 2003 – 1.82 percent; 2004 – 1.72 per cent; 2005 – 1.53 per cent; 2006 – 1.2 per cent; and 2007 – 1.09 per cent. Makati’s malnutrition rate is considered the lowest in Metro Manila. These figures are based on the Makati’ Best, a guide on Makati’s best practices.

The City of Makati has earned numerous accolades for its Nutrition Program, including the Nutrition Honor Award, the highest award given by the National Nutrition Council. It has been a consistent recipient of the Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition Program.

Kung nagawa sa Makati, magagawa rin sa buong bansa. Nutrition Program being implemented in a city like Makati can be replicated in the entire country.

A(H1N1) outbreak, Makati health services and Mayor Binay

Posted in Health with tags , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2009 by markesparza

Our health sector now is challenged with the influenza A(H1N1) virus affecting many Filipinos. The Department of Health had already made several advisories and steps to solve the current problem. I don’t have the figures as to how many, as of press time, have become positive to the virus and how many have already been treated.

This is alarming to the various publics. This type of virus can easily be transferred, especially in public places and public institutions where there is an influx of people. This pressing problem brings my mind to review my notes on programs and policies of the government as regards the health sector. I can say that there is a lot to improve as to how to anticipate everything, even the coming of influenza A(H1N1) virus or any other man-made or natural calamities.

This situation reminds me of the best practices of the City Government of Makati under the exemplary leadership of its mayor, Jejomar ‘Jojo’ Binay.

At the onset, the City of Makati had immediately responded to the alarming condition of the Makati constituents. Mayor Binay abruptly convened the City health officials and personnel as well as the Makati community to address the A(H1N1). All City Hall employees got their free anti-flu vaccines. In fact, the City Government of Makati was among the first local governments to respond to the A(H1N1). It immediately activated its A(H1N1) Plan.

Again, it reminds me of the services and programs being implemented by the City Government of Makati pertaining to health. It has been initiating the Expanded Program on Immunization that covers seven childhood diseases, namely, measles, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and tuberculosis. The vaccines are administered for free by barangay health centers for newborns and babies up to 48 months. Regular immunization campaigns are conducted at health centers, in schools and in the neighborhood.

As a result, the city has enjoyed zero incidence of polio, diphtheria and neonatal tetanus for around ten years now, while it remained measles-free throughout 2007. Based on city records, the number of measles cases in Makati has been significantly declining – from 109 in 2003 to 38 in 2004, from 22 in 2005 to only three cases in 2006, and none at all last year.

If this trend continues, the city government will certainly realize its goal of eradicating measles, along with other common childhood diseases, in Makati by 2010.

The vaccines being administered by barangay health centers for free include BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) to prevent tuberculosis among newborns up to 12 months old, OPV (oral polio vaccines) from six weeks to 12 months, DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus) from six weeks to 12 months, and measles from nine months to 48 months. Upon birth, the Hepa-B vaccine, supplied by the Makati Health department, is administered for free in city-run and private lying-in clinics in the city.

Wednesday are reserved especially for the immunization of babies at the health centers.

Makati also has a dental immunization program, the first of its kind in the country, in all of the city’s health centers. Launched in September 2006, it is aimed at promoting health teeth and gums of infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers (6 months to 5 years old) thru the application of fluoride varnish their teeth. The varnish is most effective when applied on newly-erupted baby teeth, as it would help prevent the onset of tooth decay. As a result, children are better assured of a healthy growth of permanent teeth eventually.

The health centers in Makati are also open to render dental immunization to children for free from Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 12 noon, and from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

With these health programs, I can say that Makati people have healthy lives and prosperous living. Because of a responsive local government, under the good mayor of Makati, local residents and Makati constituents are enjoying the benefits of a great health program. Certainly, Makati’s best practices when it comes to health services have brought significant effects to combating common health problems and arising health challenges.

From these we can learn a lot from Makati and the governance of Mayor Binay. We can adopt several pro-active projects and programs and implement these to other local governments in particular and the entire country in general.

Mayor Binay is a firm believer, from what we can surmise, that a healthy citizenry leads to a healthy and prosperous nation. A healthy local government is a health country, so to speak.

Kung nagawa sa Makati, naniniwala akong magagawa rin ito ni Mayor Binay sa buong bansa. That’s the real output that benefits the people from all walks of life. There are bases of the executive, managerial and leadership capability of Mayor Binay. The health sector is just one of the living proofs.