The new normal: Ensuring Continuity of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services During Health Emergency Response in Davao City, Philippines
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Research Triangle Institute, “Pryce Tower, J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City, Philippines
City Health Office of Davao, Davao City, Philippines
Provincial Health Office of Davao Oriental, Philippines
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1694
Background and Objective:
Responsive Health Care Provider Networks are borne out of a nuanced approach to organizing and operating the local health systems. In Davao City, health care is characterized by a service delivery system with a lone national government-owned hospital caters to not just the hospital needs of its constituents but also primary and secondary care services. The newfound demand for the novel COVID-19 services had profound consequences on the health care system downscaling both essential public health services in primary care facilities and non-COVID cases in the government hospital.

For a more responsive health system, the city together with its partners rearranged the structure and dynamics of the local government unit and the health facilities ensuring equal access, quality, efficiency, and sustainability of health care services. A Health Care Provider Network (HCPN), a new service delivery arrangement centered on service provision to identified target population, was established to address the demand for COVID-19 services and at the same time redirect displaced patients seeking essential public health care services to appropriate facilities. The network arrangements include referral, resource pooling and financing arrangements.

The major outputs include improved access to health services especially to indigents making them more informed and properly navigated to appropriate facilities and increased service coverage and coordinated referrals for Maternal and Childcare services. This benefited the constituents especially the indigents who are most vulnerable and affected by the system-wide impact of the pandemic. Non-COVID cases were properly referred and accommodated in assigned hospital facilities. COVID services were decentralized to the established COVID Cluster clinics.

COVID-19 has exposed the weaknesses of the health system. It is critical to implement clear and timely health emergency response without compromising provision of other essential health services. Health services should be accessible to the people despite the pandemic. "

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