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As an apex hospital in Ilocandia, whose vision is to be the premier center of advanced healthcare in Northern Philippines, the hospital closes the gaps with equitable funding arrangements especially for indigent patients by being a Contracted Healthcare Institution for Z-Benefit Packages, and for its strategic allocation of medical fund assistance to patients in need.  Further, the launching of fundraising activities to put up a trust fund for pediatric patients with cancer is likewise noteworthy.

“The IHF Awards is no mean feat for the MMMHMC. On its first attempt to join this prestigious IHF Call for Awards, it managed to be included in the 250 entries from over 34 countries that vied for recognition. This was the highest number of entries recorded in IHF Awards history. This certainly validates our strategic direction which includes financial risk protection both for our patients and for the service providers. After all, sustainability is critical,”  Dr. Maria Lourdes K. Otayza, Medical Center Chief II, said in an interview.

Aside from the Seddiqi Holding Excellence Award for Corporate Social Responsibility, the hospital also stood out for the various projects accepted for Oral and Poster Presentations in the said first hybrid Congress. These projects were deemed transformational and significant to achieve agility and guarantee adequate responsiveness in improving the resilience of healthcare systems.

There were four other projects accepted for Oral Presentation; (1) The MMMH&MC OPD E-Clinic: Telemedicine, the Ilocano Way”; (2) “We Care: The Acute Psychiatric Unit’s Response to CoViD-19 Pandemic”; (3)“Designation of IDOD in MMMHMC: Strategic Adaption of Maximizing Human Capital during the CoViD19 Pandemic”; and (4) “TANGGUYOB: The Integrated Referral and Disaster Management System in Ilocos Norte”.

The MMMHMC has strategized the use of telemedicine to reach out to the community through the Online Clinic Electronic Consultation (E-clinic) via Facebook messenger which afforded no added cost for both the patient and the hospital in term of communications. The same platform was used for the provision of mental health services to the community. Also, the designation of Infections Disease Officer of the Day, which is composed of valiant medical consultants from the different clinical departments including dentists and dermatologists, is a sound and strategic move to augment the hospital’s manpower and to substantiate the health services needed to address the challenges of dwindling human resources as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. The Tangguyob, a digital inter-facility referral system was also established in partnership with the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte to address horizontal referrals of covid-19 patients as well disaster management issues in the community.

Commended for poster presentation were the following: (1) “E-Pakaammo: MMMH&MC Usapang Kalusugan Sesyon (an Online Health Advocacy Session)” which is a health education strategy for implementing health promotion and disease prevention programs by utilizing the digital media platform of Facebook Live; (2) “Telepharmacy: Order and Pick-up” whereby telecommunications technology is merged with the pandemic low-risk delivery of pharmaceutical services to the Ilocanos;  and (3) “The Heart of the North: Caring for the Heart of Ilocandia amidst the Pandemic”, a breakthrough, since the establishment of the MMMHMC Catheterization Laboratory, which offers minimally-invasive procedures made more accessible for those who have complicated heart problems that need immediate treatment and therefore are spared from the cost of traveling to La Union or Manila just to avail of the service.

With MMMHMC busy hurdling the influx of Covid-19 patients, it being identified as  the Covid-19 referral facility in the province, all these celebrated scientific papers worthy of recognition on the international stage certainly prove the hospital’s distinct and sustained efforts at improving the overall health and wellness of patients and communities, be it high tide or low tide, come hell or high waters.

- Nalaine Dancel