This Hospital Provided Patients Access to Quality Healthcare Through a Medical Mission

What was meant to be a regular medical activity, some say turned out to be sort of a family affair for patients who participated in it. Volunteer doctors and healthcare professionals from Pope John Paul II Hospital and Medical Center recently held a medical mission.

It gave patients who came with their relatives, siblings, and even whole families free consultations along with free medications and discounted medical tests. 

Healthcare Is A Family Affair

Pediatrician Dr. Neil G. Chan readily said, “Okay, one by one”. Their mother Charmaine brought for consultation her four children Jhanell, 10; Jelmane, 8; Shine, 5; and Mark, 3.

Pope John Paul II Hospital and Medical Center medical mission

Photo: Pope John Paul II Hospital and Medical Center

The kids were very enthusiastic about each other’s consult. One after the other, the siblings were checked as their mother gamely responded to the physician’s interview questions.

Their doctor, who was Head of the Pediatrics Department, subsequently accompanied them to the pharmacy area to avail of their free medications and vitamins.

Patient Number One

Gheana, 11, was the medical mission’s patient number one. The condition of both her ears had been bothering her for months already. 

Upon initial check by the Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist Dr. Anna Pamela C. Dela Cruz, the physician knew that a brief, non-invasive procedure had to be immediately done to come up with a sound diagnosis.

Pope John Paul II Hospital and Medical Center medical mission

Photo: Pope John Paul II Hospital and Medical Center

Accompanied by her mother, Geraldine, and younger brother, they left the consult area for the doctor’s clinic. It was quite a tense moment because only once the procedure is done will they know if her eardrums were already affected.

The whirring of the machine made the young patient cry. But both the doctor, who is Head of ENT Division, and her mother reassured her that everything will be alright. The left ear and then the right ear; all wear clear except for some minor complaint that medication can address.

Better Appreciation Using Technology

With a mobile phone in her hand, Fe, 73, was ready to take selfies with her doctors. One was with Dr. Eleanor Melodee Mendoza, a Pain Medication Specialist. The physician was explaining to her that her complaint was caused by a pinched ligament.

Pope John Paul II Hospital and Medical Center medical mission

Photo: Pope John Paul II Hospital and Medical Center

Photos and illustrations of the wrist’s and arm’s anatomy came in handy as they were shown her from the doctor’s own mobile phone. In the end, the patient was advised how the pain can be managed, hopeful to regain full and painless mobility. 

Improving Health Outcomes

In 2011, the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies published “The Philippines Health System Review,” which stated that despite the dramatic improvement in the health status of Filipinos over the last 40 years, “the country is grappling with considerable inequities in access to health care.”

More than a decade later, two studies by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies showed that improving access to quality health services, can be one of the factors in improving health outcomes.

Pope John Paul II Hospital and Medical Center medical mission

Photo: Pope John Paul II Hospital and Medical Center

“Inspired by our goal of “Caring Beyond Measure”, Pope John Paul II Hospital and Medical Center is committed to provide for our patients a wide range of services and to ensure the delivery of excellent health care,” said Dr. Jacklyn M. So-Cabahug, who is lead for the medical mission series.

She added that they feel it is a privilege to be able to earn the trust and confidence of patients in guiding them in their healthcare journey.

Back To Basics

Moreover, Dr. So-Cabahug, who is also Head of Internal Medicine Department, shared her checklist of practical advice for her patients on how one can achieve optimum health and wellness.

  • Physical Exercise: Ideally, 30 to 35 minutes a day, at least three times a week. Practical ways to do this are by parking a little further from the entrance of your work to encourage you to walk or using the stairs instead of the elevator when going up one to two flights of stairs.
  • Healthy Diet: Everything in moderation; the three food groups all have benefits for our body, so it is not recommended to completely omit certain food groups unless one has certain allergies or food aversions. High fiber diet is recommended for regular bowel movement and overall gut health. 
  • Smoking: No amount of smoking is considered healthy. It can cause multiple health conditions ranging from cardiovascular diseases to cancer. Smoking also affects the people around them who are exposed to it through second-hand smoking. 
  • Pick Up A Sport Or Hobby: Besides their physical benefits, these activities can also develop a sense of community and keep harmful thoughts at bay.
  • Drink Water: Stay hydrated even if one is just in the office all day and not under the sun. There are still insensible losses of fluid in the body. Sugary drinks do not replace the role of water, especially when it comes to getting rid of wastes produced by the body.

“Having enough sleep and rest will complete the checklist,” Dr. So-Cabahug concluded. 

A lay forum in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was also conducted by Dr. Gemma Tacaca-Astorga, General Surgeon. Another medical event will happen on November 10 for Skin Week 2023, spearheaded by a licensed Dermatologist, Dr. Claudine Joy Ramos, in partnership with the Philippine Dermatological Society.

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