Undertaking effective vax program key to building health system

Former Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit said local government units’ (LGUs) rollout of a vaccination program is crucial to building the health system during pandemic as the country builds herd immunity against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Dayrit cited the exemplary performance of LGUs in many cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the deployment of inoculation programs, particularly in setting up vaccination sites, storage and data systems.

“…We would like to see all of these happening in the provinces as well,” he said in a webinar.

Dayrit said collaboration between the public and private sector in capacity building for pandemic control should be continued, such as ramping up of testing, procurement of supplies, and scaling up of quarantine facilities.

Setting up databases and dashboards to track the epidemic and now the vaccination program is also important, he said.

“Let’s learn from the governance lessons of the pandemic – modernize our health system. To do that, we have to invest wisely in improving our health system going forward. And not only at the national level, also at the local government level,” he added.

For his part, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega bared initiatives to bring the One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) and its services to the regions.

The OHCC refers patients to the appropriate health facility that could best provide for the level of care they require. It will also facilitate medical transport and patient pick-up arrangements, provide health system capacity data analytics and risk communications, and optimize the use of critical care services of every hospital in the area.

“We are now moving towards regions in establishing the One Hospital Command. Especially when we saw this pandemic, we have to make sure that we can easily coordinate with down in the region on the number of vacant beds or even isolation facilities that they have, and even testing centers so we can actually make sure patients are given the proper referral,” Vega said.

“We are actually establishing right now regional One Hospital Command most especially in Region 3 and we started with Region 4A and down to the south wherein we have in Caraga and in Southern Mindanao right now,” he added.

Vega said they are looking to set-up hotlines for all these regional One Hospital Commands for easy access to the different hospitals.

“But right now, we are really working into ways on how best we can make a patient navigate to all our services easily and with easy access to information and to all the facilities that we have,” he said.

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