In line with its aim to bring comprehensive primary care services down to the community level throughout the country, the Department of Health (DOH) today launched the “Konsultayo Arangkada” campaign in Manaoag, Pangasinan where hundreds of residents availed of primary healthcare services provided by healthcare workers from different DOH-retained hospitals and health facilities.

DOH Officer-in-Charge Secretary Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire spearheaded the launching, where a Konsultayo Arangkada Van, a van equipped with diagnostic equipment donated by the Global Fund through the Philippine Business for Social Progress (GF-PBSP), was deployed to provide mobile primary care services to different communities in the municipality.

The van, which will be deployed for two (2) weeks, will provide comprehensive primary care services including risk assessment for diseases, screening and diagnosis of communicable and non-communicable diseases, and preventive/promotive services, such as immunization for infants, nutrition, family planning and health education and counseling. As part of the campaign, the DOH also tapped the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to facilitate registration of patients into their system.

The DOH earlier placed utmost emphasis on primary care as a critical reform pursuant to the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law and institutionalized it as one of its priority initiatives under the 3rd Strategic Thrust of the new Health Sector Strategy for 2023-2028. Recognizing the importance of primary care, the DOH developed the Konsultayo Arangkada Campaign to mainstream the reform and help the public understand the kind and quality of services they can expect under a primary care-focused health system.

“This is one of many initiatives of the DOH to make healthcare more accessible and improve our country’s health outcomes, especially in far-flung and underprivileged areas. With primary care, we will be able to reach every Filipino and provide them the care they deserve to enable them to lead healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives,” the DOH OIC Secretary Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said.

During her speech, the OIC also stressed the crucial role of local government units (LGUs) in providing accessible quality and affordable health care to their constituents. Likewise, she committed that the DOH will always willing and ready to support LGUs as they take on their mandates of developing responsive and agile local health systems and healthcare provider networks, especially amid the recent devolution of health services following the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling.

“The local governments will serve as dependable allies in our quest to implement primary health care down to the grassroots level where it is most needed. Without them, we will never be able to realize Universal Health Care. Recognizing this, rest assured that the DOH will never falter in its commitment and duty to support our LGUs in creating a Healthy Pilipinas,” the OIC Health Chief added.

Aside from the DOH OIC Secretary, Field Implementation and Coordination Team-NCR and Luzon (FICT-NCRL) head Undersecretary Dr. Nestor F. Santiago, DOH CHD1 Director Paula Paz Sydiongco, Manaoag Mayor Jeremy Agerico Rosario and representatives from PhilHealth and GF-PBSP were present at the event.

The DOH also recently held the Konsultayo Arangkada, in cooperation with the Center for Health Development- Region III and the provincial and municipal governments of Lubao, Pampanga last October to provide accessible primary care to local communities in the area.