Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Doctors to the Barrios Program

Ten young medical graduates were recently deployed to 10 doctor-less municipalities in Eastern Visayas under the 'Doctors to the Barrios' program, Department of Health Region 8 director Edgardo Gonzaga said.

Gonzaga said the doctors were assigned in fifth and sixth class municipalities namely, Limasawa in Southern Leyte; Jipapad in Eastern Samar; Hinabangan, Tagapul-an, Santo Nino and Matuguinao in the province of Samar; and Laoang, Silvino Lobos, San Antonio; and Gamay in Northern Samar.

The doctors are part of the 73 doctors who were recently assigned in various regions of the country namely, Northern Mindanao, 12; Western Visayas, seven; Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, seven; Ilocos Region, six; Cagayan Valley, five; Mimaropa, five; Cordillera Administrative Region, four; Central Visayas, four; Zamboanga Peninsula, three; Central Luzon, two; Calabarzon, two; Bicol Region, two; Caraga, two; Davao, one; and Socsargen, one.

Said doctors were trained by the National Telehealth Service Program, a collaboration of the Department of Health (DoH), the Department of Science and Technology, and the University of the Philippines Manila, in using telemedicine applications to support their practice in doctor-less and single-doctor communities.

They were trained to do tele-referrals to refer difficult to handle medical cases to specialists in government-run Philippine General Hospital.

Gonzaga said that telemedicine is bringing more Filipino doctors to the barrios. The government is now using information and communications technology to expand the scope of public healthcare services to geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.

Due to the absence of doctors in rural communities, indigent patients have to travel long hours to seek medical attention from clinical specialists in provincial or city centers.

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