Sto. Tomas, Batangas – The Klinika ng Bayan reopened today its doors to needy patients in its continuing effort to provide free emergency medical and health services to the residents of Batangas.
The operation of the Klinika ng Bayan, whose original concept was for a barangay-based medical facility that would cater to the needs of impoverished patients for free, was relaunched at the clinic’s new location in Barangay San Antonio here.
“The relaunching of the Klinika ng Bayan only means one thing – that there would be no halt in our community services, not only in Sto. Tomas but in the whole of Batangas through the extension of free medical services and medicines, said Dr. Arnielyn Marasigan-Aguirre, who heads the clinic and its operations.
“In fact, we are even intensifying our operations in order to ensure that all those who are in need of our services would be attended to, most especially the needy Batangueños,” added Marasigan-Aguirre, who is also the secretary general of health advocacy group Anakalusugan.
Originally, the Klinika ng Bayan, which had been serving an average of 90 out-patients a day before it went on a brief respite leading to its reinvigorated operation, was only eyed to provide free medicines and health care services to families of Small Town Lottery workers. However, it later decided to include all Batangueños in its coverage.
“The Klinika ng Bayan is a classic example of what grassroot health services are all about,” said lawyer Adorlito Ginete, former president of the Batangas Mayors League. “It should not only be supported, but should even be replicated in other parts of the country.”
Former Housing czar Mike Defensor said that if only similar barangay-based medical facilities existed around the country, especially in remote areas, then the country’s mortality rate could have been pruned.
“What is even alarming is that most of these death cases have not even been attended to by medical professionals due to the absence of clinics or even small hospitals in their areas,” he said.
On the other hand, former Philippine National Railways General Manager Ower Andal said clinics and even barangay health centers should not only be operated in the remote areas of the country, but should also be fully manned and modestly equipped with emergency medical and health services equipment.
“If a small medical facility like the Klinika ng Bayan can be put up in Batangas and operated with a small team of highly competent people, then there is no reason why the same cannot be created in other parts of the country,” he said.
Ginete, Defensor and Andal are the three principal flag bearers of Anakalusugan for next year’s midterm polls.
The Klinika ng Bayan operated in 2010, first as the Batangas Enhanced Technology Systems Medical Health Care Clinic wherein three years later, it assumed its current name while building five other branches.
Kaye Abante, the clinic’s head nurse, said that from 2013 up to this year, the Klinika ng Bayan has already served an estimated number of 32,000 patients, about five up to seven percent of the number being STL workers or members of their families.
Other than shelling out free medicines, the clinic also provides services such as consultations, trauma cases treatment, minor surgery, brief confinement and intravenous therapy, which are administered free of charge.