Bohol convenes the country’s 1st multi-sector health summit

THE country’s first provincial government convened Health Summit happened here in Tagbilaran Thursday,
October 7, 2010.

The health summit gathered Bohol’s health sector representatives including chief of government hospitals,
devolved health facilities, rural health unit heads, health sector representatives, government sector, media
and non-government organization representatives to map out plans to make the still usually “hard to access”
affordable health and medical services for the poor.

Health assistant Secretary Pauline Jean Ubial, who came in leiu of Secretary Enrique Ona, heaped praises for
the Bohol initiative.

She admitted that similar health summits were conducted on the national and regional levels but these were
convened by the national government through the Department of Health.

“This is the first time that I heard of a health summit called by a province, and his is truly a first in the
country”, Asec Ubial said.

Governor Edgar M. Chatto said the move to promote effective and comprehensive health care systems for
Boholanos has been one of his main priorities since he assumed powed in June.

In his message, he shared that somehow Bohol’s poor have asked why it has not been as easy and affordable
for them to access medical care services.

On the first day of the summit, a pandoras box of health sector issues tumbled open as Boholano sectors
poured in a multitude of problems and proposed solutions in focused discussions and group workshops.

Some of the issues involved the incapacity of the District hospitals to respond to the poor’s medical service
needs, the lack of manpower, financial assistance to indigent patients and the seemingly politicized access to
government ambulance services.

On this, Chatto shared that he has felt it as an obligation to look into the issue of the health sector and assure
that reforms could be implemented to pat on the matter.

Even before the Chatto leadership has warmed its seat, the provincial government went into a strategic
planning workshop to review and revalidate the province’s vision, mission and goals which his leadership as
then the top legislator crafted.

Credited for crafting the Bohol vision to become a prime eco-cultural tourism destination and a strong agro-
economy in the country, Chatto, by consultation, has now added Health and Education after Agriculture and
Tourism as the province’s new priority targets now that he is the chief executive.

Haunted by scanty government resources which is apparently barely enough to kepp its devolved hospitals
opening its service doors, Bohol leaders have seen that raising the chances of affordable basic health and
education by the poor has to be made present priorities. (PIABohol)

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