City officials institutionalized the City Epidemiology and Surveillance System aligned with the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 11223 otherwise known as the Universal Health Care Act.
Under Ordinance No. 114, series of 2021, the local government recognizes that effective whole-of-the-government and whole-of-society action against emerging and re-emerging diseases require a national government enabled local government led and people-centered response aligned with the principles of universal health care and related laws and regulations.
Further, the local government acknowledges that the city-wide health system shall endeavor to establish a patient navigation and coordination system, harmonize information and communication technology, medical transport system and network mechanisms for efficient operations and performance management.
At the same time, the city recognizes the need to improve its city-wide health system to effectively respond to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases through strengthening and organizing the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) by establishing an epidemiology and surveillance system manned by trained staff.
The ordinance stated that mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases and health events of public health concern shall be done by all members of the Health Care Providers Network (HCPN) to the CESU regardless of number, scale and coverage. The same shall include the mandatory recording and reporting of the illnesses to recording ad reporting platforms set by the local government, health department and other national agencies.
Moreover, the CESU at the City Health Services Office shall be the primary reporting unit in the network and that all reports of the member facilities shall be submitted to the CESU on a timely and appropriate manner or as directed by the local and national governments. The CSU shall capture and verify all reported notifiable diseases and health events of public health concern; provide timely, accurate, and reliable epidemiologic information to appropriate agencies; conduct disease surveillance and response activities; coordinate needed response; and facilitate capacity building in the field of epidemiology, disease surveillance and response with appropriate government agencies.
The HCPN, through the aforesaid policy, shall establish a patient navigation and coordination system, harmonize information and communication technology, medical transport system and network mechanisms for efficient operations and performance management.
According to the ordinance, the city shall establish and maintain functional disease surveillance units and response systems in the health facilities which shall include coordination mechanisms, implementation protocols for reporting and response, measures for data security and confidentiality and procedures and provision to ensure safety of personnel conducting disease surveillance and response activities.
All private and public health physicians, allied medical personnel, professional societies, hospitals, clinics, health facilities, laboratories, institutions, work places, schools, prisons, ports, airports, establishments, communities, other government agencies, and non-government organizations are required to accurately and immediately report notifiable diseases and health events of public health concern to the CESU. By Dexter A. See