Mario Lastimosa, 62, has been suffering from diabetes since the ’90s. But it was only in April this year when he was rushed to the hospital after his leg was wounded and has swollen.
He was brought to the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) last April 17 and was admitted for two weeks.
A month after his release, Lastimosa was surprised to see a team of doctors from CCMC together with Cebu City Councilor Mary Ann de los Santos visiting his home in Barangay Poblacion Pardo. They took his blood pressure, gave him leaflets on what to eat and not to eat as a diabetic person and was told that there are some maintenance medicines in the barangay hall that he can avail of.
“Nalipay gyud ko ana nga programa kay gibisitaan gyud ko og doctor. Mapasalamaton ko sa syudad. Usahay dili naman mi makalugar ug pacheck-up ug balik gud (I am very happy with this program since I was visited by a doctor. I am thankful to the city. Sometimes, I can’t find time to visit the hospital again for a check-up),” he told Cebu Daily News.
Lastimosa is just one of the at least 570 discharged patients of CCMC who were visited by De Los Santos and a team of doctors and nurses from the CCMC over the past year.
According to De Los Santos, who is the deputy mayor on health matters, this is part of the city’s “Pagdumala – Pagdu-aw, Pagmalasakit, ug Paglagsik” program of the Cebu City government, which celebrated its first anniversary yesterday.
Some of the beneficiaries of the program gathered at the Labangon Barangay Sports Complex in the morning and the Cogon Ramas gym in the afternoon yesterday as they listened to doctors orienting them on the dos and don’ts on some common illnesses like diabetes, stroke, tuberculosis and hypertension.
“I am very happy to see some of the patients here that look healthier. We are also advocating education and advocating health services to their very doorsteps. Education is not just for the patient but for the rest of their family as well,” De Los Santos said.
She said the program started in September last year when she was appointed as deputy mayor on health by Mayor Tomas Osmeña.
She would personally join the team of doctors from CCMC and City Health Department (CHD) in visiting the patients in their homes every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
In a day, they could visit five to eight patients.
De Los Santos explained that it is important for the city to continue caring for their discharged patients since they often face problems in returning to hospitals for check-ups in terms of money, transportation and other problems.
The program does not have its own budget. She said they are only using the existing budgets of the CCMC and the CHD and are investing their own time to visit the patients.
For her part, CHD head Dr. Alma Corpin said she has noted improvements in mortality rates among patients of common illnesses in the city.
Although their office is yet to compile specific data to support this, Corpin said programs like Pagdumala contributed to better quality of life of patients.
“Mortality rates decrease because from the hospital to their homes, they are still taken care of. So there is lesser chance that they are readmitted or they die because the city still looks after them after they are discharged,” Corpin said.