“Getting sick is very costly. I have witnessed the hardship of the people especially the poor whenever they get sick.. . . As a practicing physician, despite my position as Vice Mayor, I also find it hard to make prescriptions for my patients because of the unavailability of medicines in local drugstores. . . . The opening of this pharmacy is a product of the clamor of the indigent constituents of this municipality.” This was part of the message of Hon. Vivien B. Yap MD , Municipal Vice Mayor of Glan, Sarangani Province during the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony signaling the formal opening of Mahintana’s Health Plus Shop-in-a Shop (HPSiS) pharmacy at the Glan Medicare Community Hospital.
The opening ceremony held on December 20, 2013 was graced by Vice Mayor Yap along with some SB Members and Barangay officials, MFI Executive Director Martiniano L. Magdolot, Admin and Finance Officer Liza D. Hora, Franchise Manager Rey F. Gabilagon and HP staff, Provincial Health Office-OIC Arvin Alejandro MD , patients and personnel of GMCH headed by the Chief of Hospital Eden Rose P. Malanao MD.
Mr. Magdolot , in giving the project rationale , mentioned how Mahintana started with the Health Plus Project supported by the DOH , National Pharmaceutical Foundation, and the German Technical Cooperation in support to the Universal Health Care Program of the government. He also stressed that MFI’s venture into social enterprise , such as the expansion of the Health Plus pharmacies is a way of helping communities , LGU’s and government hospitals raise revenues since they get 70% of whatever savings is obtained by the operation.
Dr. Malanao is hopeful that the opening of the HPSiS in Glan Medicare Community Hospital will answer the perennial problem of scarcity of medicines in government medical institutions , not because of the absence of budget but because of the delay in procurement. Likewise, it will help improve provision of medicines especially for PHIC members , thus minimizing out of pocket expenses of indigent PHIC patients. The challenge is now with the LGU to enroll the indigent constituents to the PHIC to ensure access to medical care and medicines at the hospital.