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Binay expands health services for Makati residents

Binay expands health services for Makati residents

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Makati Mayor Abby Binay on Friday said her administration was expanding the city’s health services to include a special program for improving the quality of life of patients with serious and chronic illness, and also provide psychosocial and spiritual support to their family members.

“We want to ease the suffering of residents with life-threatening and chronic diseases. Knowing how prolonged illness can take a toll on the well-being of family members, too, we have given priority to establishing palliative and hospice care as part of the city’s expanded health services,” Binay said.

The mayor announced the launch of the first phase of the Palliative and Hospice Care Program (PHCP) at the Ospital ng Makati, spearheaded by the city Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM).

“Through the PHCP, we will provide a support system for both the patients and their family to help them cope with multiple burdens they are carrying,” Binay said. “We hope to make them feel they are not alone in facing a most difficult time in their lives.”

Binay expressed confidence in DFCM’s ability to effectively implement the program, being an accredited training program of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians.

She assured the PHCP team that the city government would continue to support them through palliative and end-of-life care education and training in the form of seminars, workshops, home visit kits, and sensitizing sessions, among others.

The mayor also announced that the city would soon pilot another feature of the program, Home Hospice, in Barangay Southside, DFCM’s adopted village.

“Home Hospice will cater to the needs of terminally ill residents who are no longer responding to treatment. Its focus will be on providing comfort care and pain management for the patient, and counseling and moral support for the family until bereavement,” Binay said.

Recently, the PHCP Outpatient Clinic started operations at the Ambulatory Medicine Complex of OsMak. It is open every Monday and Friday to cater to Makati residents needing palliative and hospice care.

The PHCP performs its inpatient services when it receives referrals from other departments for services needed by patients confined at the hospital, such as pain and symptom control, counseling and psychosocial support, transition care from hospital to home, and end-of-life care.

OsMak medical director Dr. Vergel Binay said the PHCP was multidisciplinary, and that holistic care was delivered by medical, nursing, and allied health care providers, including social workers in a collaborative fashion.

“The goals of care are always aligned even if each team member has a different role,” he explained.

All members of the multidisciplinary team are required to write their assessments and treatment plans in the charts of the patients, write entries for every in-patient visit, and also contribute to the overall discharge instructions.

Once a patient in the ward is referred to the program, he or she will be visited by the PHCP committee head with the resident rotator, who will co-manage his case with the attending physician until discharge.

Dr. Binay said a family meeting would be done right away to discuss and clarify the patient’s and the family’s understanding of the disease, its natural course and prognosis, and deliberate on treatment issues towards comfort care.

The PHCP of Makati is part of the expanded public health services Mayor Binay has vowed to pursue for the benefit of Makatizens. Other health-related initiatives include the continuing modernization of OsMak and the upcoming establishment of Urgent Care in the city’s barangay health centers to provide immediate relief to injuries or other health conditions requiring immediate care, but not serious enough to require treatment in an emergency room.

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