Davao’s health centers get P80M from DOH

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 April) – Fourteen of the city’s sixteen district health centers will get P80-million worth of upgrades to improve their primary health care packages courtesy of the Department of Health.

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, chair of the city council’s committee on health, said that the upgrades will be completed this year.

The grant from DOH, she said, would cover for the expansion of buildings as well as the purchase of equipment, such as the districts’ birthing facilities.

Once finished, the upgrades would allow the district centers to be accredited by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in providing primary health packages, especially for maternal health care and other outpatient services.

But Villafuerte said the committee would be preparing the documents to get PhilHealth accreditation even before the improvements are finished.

“This means that patients from the barangays don’t have to avail of the city’s Lingap program at the Southern Philippines Medical Center to get health care,” she said.

Villafuerte said the PhilHealth accreditation would also help the city’s district centers generate income, with more patients accessing their services instead of going to the SPMC.

Those who would benefit are PhilHealth accredited patients as well as those identified by the DOH’s Pangkalahatang Kalusugan (Universal Healthcare) program.

The upgrades in the district health centers would be a small but significant step to help those who are in need of primary health care, Villafuerte said.

The DOH program would rely on data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on identifying the beneficiaries.

According to DSWD’s Margie Cabido, planning and monitoring officer, the city has 19,877 households who have been identified as beneficiaries of the program as of March 7.

Marilog district has the highest number of beneficiaries at 1,442.