AFP, top hospital OK partnership
Healing the wounded warriors.
This was how Makati Medical Center (MMC) Foundation chair Manny V. Pangilinan described the premier hospital’s public-private partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines under a memorandum of agreement signed on Wednesday.
The MMC Foundation and the AFP partnership aims to improve the health-care services of AFP Medical Center and share resources, training facilities and “learning sessions” between the two facilities.
“We are committed to helping heal your wounded warriors. This opportunity to share our blessings and to help keep a very large group of civil servants who work daily to protect our lives and property, even so far as to lay your very own lives to keep us in the private sector alive, is more than enough motivation for all of us gathered here today,” Pangilinan said in his message at the signing of the agreement at Camp Aguinaldo.
Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, AFP chief of staff, thanked Pangilinan and the MMC Foundation for the partnership, describing it as another milestone in Oplan Bayanihan, the government’s national security strategy to attain peace and development.
“The MMC Foundation helps the AFP fulfill our mandate as protectors of the people and the state … . This partnership toward organizational strengthening, professional enhancement and innovations in AFP Medical Center will benefit our soldiers and their dependents,” he said.
Bautista said the partnership was part of the continuing reforms in the military health-care system initiated by his predecessor, retired Gen. Jesse Dellosa.
The signing ceremony was attended by top AFP generals and MMC Foundation trustees that included Inquirer chair Marixi R. Prieto.
The MMC Foundation’s efforts to help AFP Medical Center not only bring improvements to the military hospital’s capabilities but also let troops know that they are “being taken care of,” Bautista said.
“What this partnership brings to us is twofold. One is the upgrading of our health service facilities, not just the professional competence of our health service professionals, our medical personnel, but also in how we run the hospital professionally,” he said.
More important, he said, “is the realization that our soldiers are recognized by the people that they are serving.”
“It’s a recognition of their efforts, of their heroism, their service to our country and people and that alone is something for our soldiers … knowing that people realize what they are doing for our country and also their families also realize that they are taken care of,” Bautista said.
Pangilinan said partnering with the AFP was part of the MMC Foundation’s “thrust to reach out to the public sector hospital,” following the foundation’s partnership with Rizal Medical Center.
He said the agreement was the culmination of the yearlong discussion with the military on what the two institutions can do to help each other improve the health-care services for the soldiers and their dependents.
“We’re not here to earn a profit but to help the public hospitals, in particular the AFP, so there’s no profit motivation. It’s entirely CSR (corporate social responsibility) work. We’re open to investing eventually in public hospitals which are already made available to us, but for the moment, it’s limited purely to CSR work,” Pangilinan said.
He said the MMC Foundation was also considering extending assistance for the education of soldiers’ widows and their children.
“Short of that, we are open to any initiative that the Armed Forces will ask of us on the CSR stage,” Pangilinan said.
The MMC Foundation is “open” to the possibility of extending the partnership with other AFP hospitals in other parts of the country, he said.
Bautista said the foundation had expressed willingness to help in providing the military mobile hospitals as well.
“We are fortunate that (the foundation) is looking into the welfare of our soldiers, especially those out there in the field,” he said.
Originally posted at 05:41 pm | Wednesday, June 19, 2013