The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing the comprehensive geriatrics program of the city and providing funds for the said purpose.
Pursuant to the State’s policy of caring for its elderly, the city government will extend programs, services and facilities and explores all means to provide quality health care to its senior citizens, hence, the need to institutionalize the comprehensive geriatrics programs.
The ordinance tasked the City Health Services Office (CHSO) to lead in the implementation of the proposed measure by formulating the guidelines and implementing the comprehensive geriatrics programs of the city that shall include prevention, treatment, care, and social and psychological support, medical and laboratory examination or services, vaccine administration and provision of maintenance medicines.
Further, the program shall also cover health problems like Alzheimer’s disease, sleep disorder, memory loss, incontinence, and medication side effects, among others.
The ordinance stipulated that the district health centers, in coordination with the respective barangay councils and the barangay senior citizens association, shall make a registry of all senior citizens within their areas of jurisdiction.
The CHSO, through the district health centers, shall issue a free health card to the registered senior citizens.
Moreover, the city government, through the CHSO, shall designate one day in a month in each district health center to attend to the medical and other health needs of the senior citizens with a stationed medical officer during the consultation day.
According to the measure, medical consultations that require further assessment, treatment and management and other laboratory referrals shall be directed to the main health center or government hospital if the need arises.
The senior citizens shall also be entitled to an annual medical checkup at their respective district health centers or at the main health center where prior scheduling shall be arranged by the district health center with the public laboratory for laboratory services.
The ordinance pointed out that the mandatory 20 percent discount shall apply for the medicines dispensed by the district or main health center while indigent senior citizens certified by the City Social Welfare and Development Office and other government agencies are entitled to avail of the free medicines and services.
Funds for this purpose shall be included in the annual budget of the City Health Services Office where only bonafide residents of the city shall avail of the implementation of the said program.