PH health secretary receives award from World Bank

Health Secretary Enrique Ona makes a pitch for Adopt-a-Hospital. Photo: Bing Branigin

Health Secretary Enrique Ona makes a pitch for Adopt-a-Hospital. Photo: Bing Branigin

By Maricar CP Hampton

Health Secretary Enrique Ona was in town last week to receive the Emerging Partnership Award from the World Bank for his Hemodialysis Project.

An initiative of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), the Hemodialysis Project made renal care accessible and affordable to ordinary Filipinos, said the Philippine Embassy in a statement. Ona is the executive director of NKTI.

“The Emerging Partnership Award recognizes innovative and sustainable private-public partnership projects in emerging markets around the world,” said Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. in congratulating Ona. “The project is another example of a creative approach to our government’s continuing efforts to bring its services closer to the people.”

While here, Ona took the time also to meet with the Filipino American community and urged support for the Adopt-a-Hospital Program.

With health care reform introduced three years ago, he said the government of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino “hopefully can give our very poor Filipino families the kind of care that ordinarily would only be available to some.”

He said about 25 million Filipinos are currently covered by the universal health care, also known as Philhealth.

The Adopt-a-Hospital program is intended to provide a longer-term approach of delivering health services to underserved communities, he said.

Dr. Ona discussed ways by which FilAms could support Adopt-a-Hospital through donations.
The FilAms in the audience appeared enthusiastic about supporting the program. Dr. Hernan Reyes, a former president of the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America, called it a “worthwhile project.”

“I hope many more of our FilAm physician colleagues including FilAm leaders will support the program,” he said.

Johnny Montero, founder and president of the Montero Medical Mission, said his organization would like to “adopt” a hospital in Surigao del Sur to benefit not only the hospital but also service the people of the province.

“Whoever is the adoptor will donate and help build up the hospital and concentrate mission work there,” he said.

He said the meeting with Dr. Ona was “fruitful.”

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