By Jezza A. Nepomoceno
ILOILO – Patients who are suffering from poor vision due to cataract will not worry of their bills anymore because free eye surgeries will soon be performed in Iloilo Provincial Hospital in Barangay Rumbang, Pototan.
The free cataract surgery is courtesy of PhilHealth and it forms part of the Blindness Prevention Program of the Iloilo Provincial Government – an added feature in Hospital Efficiency Assurance through Reform and Transformation (HEART).
A brainchild of Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., HEART envisions the 12 province-owned hospitals to be “real hospitals for the poor” through reforms that include hospital upgrading (both its facilities and services), human resource development, fiscal management and other innovations.
The free cataract surgery is an added innovation in hospital reforms wherein PhilHealth and a society of private ophthalmologists in Iloilo City are the key strategic partners.
It aims to prevent blindness by providing early treatment to patients with age-related cataracts or cataracts caused by certain diseases such as diabetes.
Indigents covered by PhilHealth can take advantage of the service while those without health insurance can still avail of this through PhilHealth’s Point-of-Care Enrollment.
A total of P6-million has been earmarked by the provincial government for this undertaking under the Hospital Management Office (HMO).
The budget encompasses the appropriations for drugs and medicines (P1.5-million), medical supplies (P1.5-million), and medical equipment (P3-million).
HMO is currently processing the procurement of the first 100 cataract kits which will be used during the operation. Once everything is in place, the free cataract surgery at IPH will begin.