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Expanded health care for OFWs by DMW and PGH

With the OFW Hospital in the province of Pampanga, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) have collaborated to expand the range of medical services available to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, Director of PGH, and DMW Secretary Susan Ople on Wednesday inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the management and operation of the OFW Hospital in San Fernando City.

According to a copy of the MOA given to the Philippine News Agency on Thursday, it intends to give OFWs and their families improved healthcare services through the OFW Hospital.

Ople congratulated the UP-PGH and stated that as a result of the collaboration, the OFW Hospital will soon be able to offer the best pre-employment medical care available.

We’ll establish the proper standards and demonstrate how it ought to be done, she promised.

Ople places a strong emphasis on the value of maintaining a healthy body and mind, particularly for OFWs who are working abroad and engaging with a variety of individuals.

She said, “Decent work, human dignity, and basic human rights include the right to life and the right to a healthy future. Hence, the health of every migrant worker must never be compromised.

The DMW is the first department in the nation to have a hospital specifically for Filipino migrant workers, according to Ople, who made the announcement during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement.

She said that in addition to directly serving the OFWs, the hospital will also provide for their families and children.

In May 2022, while Rodrigo Duterte was the country’s president, the OFW Hospital was founded.

The hospital is a 7-story building with 102 beds that occupies a 1.5-hectare plot of land. A usufruct arrangement allowed the Pampanga provincial government to give away the property.

The facility was mandated by Presidential Order No. 154, which was signed on December 7, 2021. Under an alliance with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) sponsored the purchase of hospital equipment while the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation paid for the hospital’s construction.

In July 2022, an outpatient clinic and an infirmary operation at the OFW Hospital were launched. The DMW took over the business from the DOLE in January of last year.

Nowadays, the hospital is categorized as a secondary-level healthcare facility.

As of February 28, according to Ople, the OFW Hospital has treated 11,483 patients and two OFWs had given birth there.

According to her, the hospital aspires to be the “center of excellence” for the medical requirements of OFWs and their dependents as well as the best place for medical staff to work.

The OFW Hospital, whose objective is to provide comprehensive patient-centered healthcare services to OFWs and their families, will be the leading agency in the Philippines for pre-employment and post-arrival medical examinations, according to Ople.

She stated that plans for the OFW Hospital for 2023 include the addition of a hemodialysis unit, the expansion of its cardiology services, and the purchase of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and digital mammography.

In the meantime, Ople said that as part of the celebration of Women’s Month, the UP-PGH has already committed to sending a mammography van to the DMW headquarters in Mandaluyong for the female OFWs and department employees.

Ople, who has been a breast cancer survivor for three years, urged everyone to practice gratitude and treat each day as a blessing.

“Our promise is to save and help as many as we can and to be able to send as many workers” (Pangako natin, mas marami pa tayong masagip, mas marami pa tayong matulungan at mas marami pa tayong matulungan din na mapadala sa) abroad knowing that they are very much okay and able to withstand the conditions of being an OFW.

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