PWDs in BARMM, Soccsksargen to get equal access to healthcare services at CRMC

COTABATO CITY (PIA) — Access to healthcare services at the state-run Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC) will be equally available to all persons with disabilities (PWD) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and Soccsksargen Regions.

The CRMC opened its Prosthetics and Orthotics Section on Friday, promising equitable access to PWDs in both regions.

Health Secretary Dr. Teodoro Herbosa led the inauguration of the facility, emphasizing its importance to address the clamor for an increased provision of assistive devices for PWDs.

“The inauguration of the prosthetics and orthotics section is truly vital and essential for the healthcare services of CRMC for Central Mindanao. The Department of Health also recognizes the BARMM region and the local government and the whole of the two provinces here for making this particular project a success,” he said.

Secretary Herbosa also underscored that this initiative also supports Universal Health Care, which guarantees all Filipinos equitable access to quality and affordable health care goods and services that are protected against financial risk.

“Taking care of disabled persons is very important, and I’m very happy that CRMC has taken the challenge to be upfront in this project,” he said, commending the hospital for its genuine public health service.

The Prosthetics and Orthotics Section, which is under the hospital’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, is a specialized area focusing on the design, fabrication, fitting, and maintenance of prosthetic and orthotic devices.

Prosthetics are artificial limbs or body parts that replace missing or amputated body parts, while orthotics are devices that provide support, correction, or stabilization to the musculoskeletal system.

Dr. Jhoana Marie Zambrano, CRMC’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department head, said that the equipment and supplies for the facility were a donation from the Philippine Japan Manning Consultative Council, Inc. through the Physicians for Peace Philippines (PFP).

“CRMC entered into an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with PFP to ensure the continuous training of staff of the prosthetics and orthotics section, as well as to widen the reach of the services within Region XII and BARMM,” she said.

She also disclosed that they are eyeing additional staff for the newly opened section. “We will have certified prosthetists and orthotists, including technicians who will man the facility.”

Zambrano added that the facility aims to empower individuals with limb loss or musculoskeletal conditions by providing them with customized, high-quality prosthetic or orthotic devices and comprehensive support that would allow them to lead fulfilling and independent lives.

“Kapag fully operational na po ang section at PHIC accredited na, makakaavail ang mga pasyente ng mga serbisyo nito through PHIC. Kapag naman hindi na-cover ng PHIC, gagawan din po ng paraan ng CRMC management na katulad ng ibang serbisyo ay maaring mailapit sa Malasakit Center,” she explained.

(When the section facility is fully operational and accredited by PHIC, or the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, patients can now avail of its services through PHIC. In the event that PHIC will not cover it [a medical and financial expense], CRMC will find ways to have it covered through other means, such as the Malasakit Center.)

Cotabato Regional and Medical Center Chief of Hospital Dr. Ishmael Dimaren signs a memorandum of understanding with Physicians for Peace Philippines for the continuous training of staff of the Prosthetics and Orthotics Section. (PHOTO: Cotabato Regional and Medical Center)
Further, Chief of Hospital Dr. Ishmael Dimaren said that CRMC, as an apex hospital, is committed to providing specific departmentalized specialty services that are not available in lower-level facilities.

“Ang pamunuan ng CRMC ay magpapatuloy na magi-innovate kung ano pa ang pwedeng ibigay na serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.

(The CRMC management will continue to innovate to see what other services we can provide our countrymen.)

CRMC, which is strategically located in this city, serves the BARMM constituents from Lanao Sur, Maguindanao Sur, and Maguindanao del Norte, including North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat in the Soccsksargen Region. (LTB – PIA Cotabato City)

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