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Former PMA prez calls for innovation as patients avoid hospitals

Republika

Bu Castro, former Philippine Medical Association (PMA) president, has strongly urged healthcare facilities to look into innovative, digital means of interacting with patients amidst declining turnouts.


The fear of contracting Covid19 while at a hospital has been gripping those in need of medical attention since the pandemic’s beginning last year, and has recently led to nearly half refusing to visit altogether.


Castro said that the health care field is rapidly evolving due to the pandemic’s blindsiding.


He stated that previously, the “physician-patient relationship is reinforced by the fact that the patient and the physician see each other face to face, either in the clinic or in the hospital.”


This changed however when Covid19 hit the country’s shores.
The former PMA president further cited the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study that indicated a similar instance of a 40% decline for patient visits, even to emergency rooms, was occurring there as well.


And with the risks not only being for patients, but some doctors have also become wary of face-to-face interaction.


Hence, the need for distanced alternatives such as telemedicine sessions must be pioneered to cater to both the needs of patients and physicians, in a more effective way than what is currently in practice.


On the technological side, the chief executive officer of HyBrain, which provides the digital Hospital Information System, John Duenas said that further enhancements of digital health care systems would be able to address issues such as Covid19 risk-minimizing, as well as the disparity between doctor and patient numbers.


Furthermore, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has announced its intention for regional hospitals to look into specialized medical research and development (R&D) via their own R&D facilities.


By allowing regional medical centers to join the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) program, previously for select tertiary institutions only, DOST R&D Undersecretary Rowen Cristina Guevara said that these centers would be able to establish their own research facilities.


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