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Dumaguete City, Philippines Saturday, October 22, 2016
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DOH to field ghost patients

Ghost patients will be fielded in different health facilities all over the country starting next week as part of the Department of Health's way of checking if health workers and professionals are really doing their jobs, in accordance to the mandate of President Rodrigo Duterte.

DOH Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said during the first national staff meeting in Dumaguete City, that the ghost patients will come to government hospitals as well as barangay health centers and clinics, secretly bringing along with them checklists on what was actually provided to them, what were the services available during their visit, and how are they being treated.

This is undertaken, she said, so that the DOH can really be proactive in terms of its policies, the skills, attitude, and to monitor the behavior of health professionals all over the country.

The idea is close to the heart of Ubial, who value clients most in saying the most important person or individual in every health facility is the patient.

She said the patients are the very reason for their being and the reason for the existence of doctors, nurses and other health professionals as a center of their work interventions.

She added she has three marching orders from Duterte to achieve the health sector's sustainable development agenda.

She said she was told by Duterte that the health sector must commit, unite and join the government in the fight against illegal drugs, including the attached agencies of the DOH, PhilHealth, National Nutrition Council, Population Commission, regional offices, local government units, private sector, and hospitals.

To address corruption, Ubial said she told the president the agency has established the Integrity Management Committee towards a zero tolerance to corruption. She explained that any sign of corruption in the DOH is immediately stopped before government funds are misused.

The third order is to take care of the poor, with LGUs as partners in the quest to really lift the poorest patient from poverty and to break the cycle of ill-health.

She said the only way to lift people from poverty is to help them stay healthy so they can be productive and contribute to the economic development of the country.*JG


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