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City consolidates final medical mission regulation ordinance

To ensure that there would be no fly-by-night medical practitioners endangering the health of the residents of Baguio and making money by using as a front outreach activities, the city council is presently consolidating the final copy of the ordinance that will regulate their conduct in the city.

Proposed Ordinance 0047-17 co-authored by Councilors Elaine Sembrano and Faustino Olowan entitled “Providing for regulations in the conduct of medical missions and similar undertakings in the City of Baguio” has been approved on second reading and is being consolidated for its final copy.

Sembrano on Tuesday said “we are finalizing the final draft to include all the inputs and coverage of the ordinance before we present it for third and final reading".

She explained that the proposal is to prevent some unscrupulous persons from taking advantage of the medical mission who get donations locally or abroad and keep the money for themselves as well as to make sure that those who conduct it are legitimate medical practitioners.

"We have just had our discussion in the council yesterday (Monday) and we are waiting for the inputs to be included in the proposal. This is basically for the health and safety of the public and to do away with enterprising and fly by night so called medical missions,” Sembrano said.

She further explained “ang atin lang, we need to protect the public from the hazards of medical malpractice, at the same time give recognition to those who are doing their medical missions within the bounds of law.”

Olowan also explained that “medical missions are being abused. There are those who go to a community and sell their products,” in the guise of holding a medical mission. He added, such activities will be prevented when the ordinance is approved with finality.

He also said that once passed, organizers have to meet the requirements before they can conduct medical missions.

The same holds true for those who do outreach activities but change the imported goods given by donors with local or second hand items.

He said that only accredited health practitioners from charitable institutions up to the allied personnel can be recognized and conduct community outreach activities.

Likewise, guidelines and requirements must be met upon applying for medical missions one month prior to the activity.

The proposal will also require the submission of a post evaluation and post activity report to the mayor through the City Health Services Office (HSO) and the city council within a period of 15 days upon after the activity.

Moreover, the presence of a representative from the HSO or a barangay nutrition scholar, who will make sure that the activity will be for the health and welfare of the beneficiaries, will be required.

Liza Agoot with a report from Kris Chan /PNA