The Department of Health (DOH) – Ilocos Region together with the Provincial Government of La
Union and the local government unit of Bagulin, La Union began its second round of providing health services to indigenous peoples (IPs) in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) particularly in the highland barangay of Ba-Ay yesterday, April 19, 2023. La Union Provincial Health Officer Eduardo S. Posadas, who led the provincial health team, said that indigenous peoples also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services and we need to bring this wide scope of wellness to them.
“Ginagawa namin ang pagdadala sa kanila ng lahat ng kailangan nilang medical services dahil karamihan sa kanila ay hindi maka-afford na bumaba at pumunta sa pinakamalapit na health center o ospital dahil gaya dito sa Brgy Ba-Ay ay aabutin ng mahigit ?500 ang magagastos sa one way na pamasahe pa lang kaya yung iba hindi na nagpapagamot o nagpapacheck-up kahit may
dinaramdam.” “That is why we have to bring all the health services to them because it is much
practical and inexpensive. At ang kagandahan pa nito, talagang lahat sila ay pupuntahan ka at dadalhin ang buong pamilya nila upang magpasuri ng kanilang karamdaman,” Posadas explained.
Among the services provided during the reach-out activity were dental, health consultations and PhilPEN (Philippine Package of Essential Non-Communicable Diseases Interventions) to assess the
presence or absence of risk factors for the early detection, prevention, and management of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension and diabetes. Free manicure, pedicure,
haircut and massage were also among the services given in addition to free medicines, health kits and food were also provided to all the IP families who attended the activity.
A total of 184 IP families availed of the health services. DOH Regional Program Manager for Essential NonCommunicable Disease, Erwin M. Baclig, Jr., who headed the health assessment team, stated that essential health services must be given to all including those who are financially and socially disadvantage and we, in the health sector, must ensure that health care is delivered in a
way that is centered on people’s needs and respects their preferences. “’Bringing facility-based
health care services regularly to GIDAs addresses the inequities on health and improves the availability and access to health resources in these communities.”
“And with the implementation of Universal Health Care, basic health services will be equitably
distributed to everyone, especially to our indigenous peoples for better health outcomes.” Baclig concluded.
Glen Ramos-CMU/ DOH Ilocos Region
April 22, 2023
June 3, 2023
June 3, 2023
June 3, 2023