Press Release | 6 March 2024
Following the marching orders of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. to bring healthcare closer to the people, the Department of Health (DOH) today opened the first-ever Bagong Urgent Care and Ambulatory Service (BUCAS) center in the Philippines in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga. It will be hosted by the Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital (JBLMGH).
Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa, together with Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, DOH Central Luzon Center for Health Development (CLCHD) Regional Director Corazon Flores, and JBLMGH Medical Center Chief Monserrat S. Chichioco led the ceremony and marked a significant step towards ensuring access to quality healthcare for all Filipinos.  Also in attendance were 4th District of Pampanga Rep. Anna York Bondoc-Sagum, Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda, Pampanga Vice Governor Lilia Pineda, Municipality of Sto. Tomas Mayor Johnny Sambo, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Vice President for Area 1 and Concurrent Vice President of Area 2 Mr. Walter Bacareza who all extended support.
The BUCAS center at JBLMGH Ambulatory Surgical and Multispecialty Center (JASMC) occupies a one-story facility spanning 5,000 square meters. This facility was established through the generous contribution of Mayor Johnny Sambo, together with Vice Mayor Jun Pineda, the Municipal Councilors, and with the support of Congresswoman Anna York Bondoc, who donated the health facility structure, along with an additional two (2) hectares of land, to the DOH. It is envisioned to address the ambulatory medical and surgical care needs of Filipinos from Central Luzon, giving the best for the poorest of Pampanga and its surrounding municipalities as catchment areas.
The BUCAS center at JASMC is ready to offer surgical services in general surgery, oral-maxillofacial surgery, otorhinolaryngologic surgery, and reproductive health.  It has laboratories with comprehensive diagnostic capabilities. Efforts are underway to start providing additional services including ambulatory surgery in ophthalmology,  orthopedics, pediatrics, and dentistry, as well as radiology and pharmacy services, expanding the range of health services available to the public.
“The DOH was inspired by the concept of the LAB For All project, headed by First Lady Atty. Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta Marcos. We want to institutionalize the LAB For All concept through BUCAS centers, to bring the best to the poorest in terms of urgent care and ambulatory services. As we unveil this pioneering BUCAS center less than three months from conceptualization, we focus on our goal of establishing 28 primary care centers to serve the 28 million poorest Filipinos by the year 2028. Tandaan – sa Bagong Pilipinas, Bawat Buhay Mahalaga!” said Secretary Herbosa.