DOH Medical Social Workers Help Filipinos Have Access to Healthcare

The DOH League of Medical Social Workers Incorporated (DOHLMSWI) are tasked to bridge the gap between the indigent patients and access to quality healthcare offered at government health facilities. They are the ones who will coordinate and empower the patients from the underprivileged sector to seek regular check-ups, proper diagnosis, and treatments for their ailments.  

The medical social workers have long been doing the program for quality healthcare, says Madeliene Doromal, Development Management Officer of the DOH Facility Development Bureau and the Medical Social Worker Adviser, but they have not been given enough attention when it comes to funding and training. According to Roderick Villa of the National Center for Mental Health who is the Vice President of the DOHLMSWI, the professional advancement of social workers in government hospitals is another concern.

The oath-taking ceremony for DOH League of Medical Social Workers Inc. (DOHLMSWI) officers was presided by DOH Sec. Francisco T. Duque III (from left): Ma. Teresa Sison, MSWD Chief of locos Training Regional Medical Center (BOD- Luzon Regional Coordinator); Shirley Salik, MSWD Chief of Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (BOD- Mindanao Regional Coordinator); Luningning Banocia, MSWD Chief of Rizal Medical Center (Asst. Secretary); Remedios Serapion, Senior MSW  of National Children' s Hospital (Treasurer); Evelyn Muñiz, MSWD Chief of Philippine Orthopedic Center (President); Madeliene Gabrielle Doromal, OIC, DOH Facility Development Bureau (Medical Social Work Adviser); Roderick Villa Senior MSW of National Center for Mental Health (Vice President); Josephine Bosch, Senior MSW of the Philippine Heart Center (BOD); Alydia Soberano, MSWD Chief of Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital (BOD); Arlene Sabdao, Senior MSWD of the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center (Secretary); Ruby Rosa Velasco from the DOH- Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau(PRO); and Mergin Acido, MSWD Chief of Vicente Sotto Medical Center Chief (BOD- Visayas Regional Coordinator). 

NOT IN PHOTO: Leticia San Juan, Senior MSW of Research Institute and Tropical Medicine (Assistant Treasurer); Elizabeth Bernabe, Senior MSW of Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center (Auditor); Donnabelle Arcilla, MSWD Chief of  Lung Center of the Phiilippines (BOD); Maria Cecilia G. Calimlim, MSWD Chief of San Lorenzo Ruiz Women’s Hospital (BOD)

This is why the recent oath-taking of the DOHLMSWI officers is a timely step towards the right direction as it means representation in the proper government agencies such as the DOH, and more unity amongst themselves to talk about issues regarding DOH policies and their implementation that will have an impact towards the access of many Filipinos to quality healthcare. They are into standardising processes and programs for efficient and effective delivery of health services. 

Aside from providing support for national health issues such as dengue, the Medical Social Workers are also providing psychosocial interventions and support for mental health concerns, not only for patients and family members to improve quality of life but also to victims of natural disasters and even to multidisciplinary team who may be have experience secondary trauma in rescuing victims of calamities, Evelyn Muniz Chief of Medical Social Work Department of Philippine Orthopedic Center and President of the DOH Medical Social Workers League.

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