Kapampangans to benefit most from PH’s first urgent care, ambulatory service facility

The town of Sto. Tomas in Pampanga is known as the casket capital of the Philippines.

The town’s craftsmen supply beautiful wooden and metal coffins to funeral service providers around the country.  

This small town however took a huge step forward on Wednesday as it also became the home to the Philippines’ first urgent care and ambulatory service facility.

This as the Department of Health (DOH) led the inauguration of the Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital (JBLMGH) Ambulatory and Multi-Specialty Center (JASMC) with Bagong Urgent Care and Ambulatory Service (BUCAS) as part of its aim to deliver medical services to the poorest Filipinos.

The facility will serve the urgent medical needs of the residents of Pampanga and its surrounding provinces.

Equal healthcare access 

The DOH will establish BUCAS facilities in various parts of the country with the goal of giving people from all walks of life equal access to healthcare which is part of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s Bagong Pilipinas agenda  for the genuine development of the people.

Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa explained that the aim is 28-28-28 or to build 28 BUCAS centers for the 28 million poorest Filipinos by the end of the President’s term in 2028.

“Through the BUCAS, PBBM asked me to make the people feel healthcare. This is the concretization of the Bagong Pilipinas call… I hope that this will come true in other regions in the Philippines because we are now seeing the Bagong Pilipinas,” he said.

He added that the plan is to make these facilities sustainable and free to all indigent Filipinos.

Herbosa highlighted that Pampanga’s BUCAS center will aid the DOH in its vaccination campaign. It will offer measles and oral polio vaccines for children, human papillomavirus vaccines for adolescents, and pneumococcal and flu vaccines for adults.

The facility also seeks to ensure the health of children in their first 1,000 days. This will avoid malnutrition, undernutrition, and stunting among Filipino kids.

It will likewise offer maternal healthcare to bring down maternal mortality through the improvement of birthing centers and midwives. It has an obstetrics and gynecology department for prenatal care.

In addition, the BUCAS center will aid the DOH in combating tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus. Medicines will be available for TB patients to finish their treatment.

It will also push for road safety as 70 percent of deaths are coming from young adults who are having accidents while riding motorcycles.

The facility will try to control the rising cases of hypertension among Filipinos by monitoring blood pressure of patients as well as push for a public health approach to diabetes and childhood obesity.

Likewise, the BUCAS facility will ensure the early detection of cancers. It will diagnose and operate breast cancer patients and provide colonoscopy and endoscopy to detect colon cancer.

It will also advance the use of digital technology for healthcare using telemedicine. In this way, people can access care in the comfort and privacy of their homes.

Dream come true 

The JASMC with BUCAS facility in Sto. Tomas stands in about 5,000 square meters of land in barangay San Vicente. The land was donated by the municipal government to JBLMGH.

Mayor John Sambo emphasized that although they are the smallest town in Pampanga, the municipal government will continue to push for their dream of providing the healthcare needs of its constituents particularly the indigents.

“This moment started with a beautiful dream, it became a journey, now a destiny and a reality. A reality that this facility will be used not only by the people of Sto. Tomas, but also of those in our nearby towns,” he said.

The local government also donated to JBLMGH a parcel of about two hectares of land for the expansion of the JASMAC with BUCAS facility.

Through the establishment of BUCAS facilities in different parts of the country, the DOH is bent in making its efforts towards modernization for health equity within its reach. Indeed, through facilities like these, indigent Filipinos who can’t afford to go to health facilities for their illnesses will be given the chance to prioritize their health.(CLJD/JLDC-PIA 3)

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