Davao de Oro is now concentrating all efforts to strengthen its healthcare system. Previously relying on support from neighboring provinces and cities for its COVID-19 positive patients, the provincial government of Davao de Oro has now begun to launch new projects to step up and build its own facilities to tackle the pandemic head on with its own forces, and provide its people with the best of services.
Longterm Health Planning
Just last week on June 16, 2020, Governor Tyron Uy called for a meeting with the Provincial Local Health Board (PLHB) to discuss and commence their expansion of membership. In compliance with the prerequisites of Universal Healthcare Law, the PLHB’s new composition will now include the province’s mayors, national government agencies, and other offices concerned with healthcare and medical services.
The PLHB shall serve as the official policy-making body for the province’s future plans, projects, and policies concerning its healthcare system. Also in accordance to the province’s EO 39, which is an order to reconstitute its PLHB, this expansion is aimed to create an integrated provincial healthcare system that addresses health issues such as maternal health, childcare, communicable diseases, and emerging and infectious diseases like COVID-19.
Call DdOC: Your Virtual Doctor
In its desire to decongest hospitals while still being able to continue providing healthcare services to the people, the provincial government has also launched their online initiative, Call DdOC, designed to make professional medical advice readily available to the people without having to expose themselves outside of their homes. This is done through online consultations with “virtual doctors” from the province’s own provincials hospitals, to also make the Out Patient Department of the DDOPHs functional and operational even in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 Isolation Units
The province’s four provincial hospitals have also established isolation facilities within their premises to accommodate COVID-19-positive patients that are experiencing mild and severe symptoms. At present, sixteen of the total nineteen positive patients are confined in DDOPHs.
A portion of the Bayanihan Grant to the Provinces were allotted for the building of these isolation facilities where the patients will be served, tested, and treated.
COVID-19 Test Lab
In addition, Governor Tyron Uy has also openly expressed his desires to build a COVID-19 testing laboratory in DDOPH-Montevista, where he has already allotted 68 million pesos which was pulled also from the Bayanihan to Heal as One budget grant that the province has recently received, for the planned construction. Through this testing laboratory, the province will finally be able to mobilize immediate medical actions for the needs of its people during the pandemic.
In its actions to have the testing laboratory standing and functional as soon as possible, the provincial government has also sought partnership with the Philippine Genome Center of the University of the Philippines-Mindanao (PGC UP-Mindanao) and the Department of Science and Technology-XI (DOST XI), who will be extending technical assistance to the province and the facility’s future personnel. The DDOPH-Montevista COVID-19 Testing Laboratory is eyed to be operational by August of 2020.
The ceremonial signing for this partnership was concluded on June 22, 2020, where the governor talked about this project being the province’s weapon to fight and mitigate the threats brought about by the novel corona virus.
A Strong and Resilient Healthcare System
Needless to say, this pandemic has woken the provincial government to develop a strong and resilient healthcare system that will survive through the worst pandemics. Much like an establishment’s foundation which enables it to stand through high-intensity earthquakes, the province’s upgraded healthcare system is targeted also to enable the people to live safely through disease outbreaks.
The people’s health has always been a top priority of the governor under his 4Ps+ bayanihan governance, and now his desire and urgent concern is to fill in the gaps within the province’s healthcare system, and provide great health to each and every Dabawenyo.