On March 26, 2011, a Medical Mission was held on NIA Road, Quezon City. Over 321 patients were catered and attended to by physicians from different hospitals and organizations. The event was organized by Bayan Muna – NIA Road chapter.
The community in NIA Road is an Urban Poor resettlement area for the fire victims in BIR road Brgy Central, Quezon City last February 7, 2011. The fire burned over 500 households and the affected population reached up to 2,000. Aside from fire, the residents in the area also fear an impending demolition to pave the way for the Quezon City Business District (QCBD). The local government of Quezon City plans to clear the area and convert it to a commercial district, a resident said.
Despite being at the heart of a bustling city and its proximity to major government hospitals, the basic health needs of the people are not met. Many still require medical attention and dental check-ups.
Five pediatricians, 1 surgeon, 1 ER medicine doctor, 3 internists, 3 pathologists, and 1 family doctor coming from East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, and the Council for Health and Development attended to the needs of 257 patients.
Four dentists, two from Philippine General Hospital and and two from University of the East (UE) Graduate School were able to provide services to 64 patients. Some of the patients, whose teeth can still be saved through root canal therapy, were referred to UE Graduate School for free treatment.
Bayan Muna partylist representative, Teddy Casiño was also present in the event.
Poverty and Health care
According to Bayan Muna – NIA Road coordinator Eric Castillo, Medical Missions such as the one they organized is evidence of the government’s neglect upon its people. They said that if the government is able to fulfill its duties to its people, there would be no need for medical missions because the people already has access to affordable and quality health care.
The World Health Organization (WHO) in a recent statement said that high cost of health care is a major factor which drives Filipino families into poverty. One of the solutions which they offer to governments is proper funding for the health care services of the people. This would help decrease the burden of the people through out-of-pocket health expenditures. However, at this rate, it would seem that the government will fail once again to fund health expenditures as it prioritizes debt servicing and military spending.
In line with this, People’s Organizations and Non-government Organizations strive to reach a common goal, which is to provide free health care to the people of rural and urban communities such as in NIA Road. Active participation of the community as well as volunteers from various schools, organizations and the health sector is also essential in the actualization of this goal.
##Alren Aure, RN