Batac: DOH opens 1st urgent care center in Region 1

(Photo courtesy of Leilanie Adriano via PNA)

The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday inaugurated the first urgent care center in the Ilocos Region in Banna, a fourth-class municipality in the second district of Ilocos Norte, to bring healthcare services closer to communities.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire and Ilocos Regional Director Paula Paz Sydiongco led the launch of the Bagong Urgent Care and Ambulatory Service (BUCAS) center, which is manned by medical professionals from the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC).

The center provides comprehensive diagnostic capabilities and offers minor surgeries on weekdays and is eyed to provide an intermediate health facility aimed to bridge the gap between village health centers and higher-level hospitals.

The BUCAS Center in Banna is the 11th to open in the country and the second to operate since its soft launch last March 2024.

DOH targets to establish 28 BUCAS Centers nationwide to provide accessible and quality healthcare services to the 28 million poorest Filipinos by the year 2028.

Instead of traveling for two hours and spending about PHP2,000 for transportation to reach the MMMH&MC, which is often crowded by patients from Northern Luzon, Banna town and those from nearby villages of Nueva Era, Pinili, and Marcos, patients no longer have to travel far and wait for long queues to avail of simple diagnostic procedures and urgent healthcare services.

“This is a remarkable milestone in our municipality of Banna. The BUCAS program will empower our community with the tools and resources needed to live healthier and more fulfilling lives,” Banna Mayor Mary Chrislyn Abadilla said.

During the event, a memorandum of agreement was signed for the construction of a surgical clinic and BUCAS facility expansion building to provide a complete set of specialist treatment and ancillary services like mammogram, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scan, and ultrasound.

“Thank you for bringing your expertise closer to us. I hope this will continue so that we will no longer have to go far in times of need,” Banna resident Carolyn Julian said. (Leilanie Adriano)

(Source: Philippine News Agency)

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