ABS-CBN current affairs program “Salamat Dok” launched the country’s first ever ”Hospital on Wheels” last Sunday (January 21) with the goal of reaching Filipino families that are unable to get medical treatment and surgery because of lack of resources.
Bigger than a regular bus, the “RP Healthcraft Carrier” has complete medical equipment and is sterile and safe for procedures like extraction of tumors and cysts, and reconstructive surgeries for those with cleft palates, goiter, and hernia.
The maiden voyage of the “Hospital on Wheels” was in ABS-CBN, where “Salamat Dok” conducts weekly medical missions as it airs live. The next stop is Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte on February 18, to start the project’s tour of far-flung areas in the Philippines where medical assistance is most needed.
Expert plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Jim Sanchez said the “Hospital on Wheels” is a dream come true for him, thanks to the help of various groups and organizations like ABS-CBN.
“I have the same advocacy and vision as ‘Salamat Dok.’ We both want to help the country and our countrymen, especially those who can’t afford to be checked by a physician and are not able to buy medicine. Together, we can save lives. ”
“Salamat Dok” anchors Alvin Elchico and Bernadette Sembrano-Aguinaldo mentioned it has been the program’s fervent mission to serve Filipino families in the hard-to-reach areas of the country.
“Seven out of ten Filipinos die without even being checked by a doctor. It is our mission to somehow decrease this number when we started our segment ‘The Doctor is Out,’” said Alvin.
Through “Hospital on Wheels,” we will be able to extend our medical assistance beyond nearby provinces. This is all for the Filipino family,” Bernadette added.
Last Sunday, 13 operations were done inside the “Hospital on Wheels,” while 114 had check-ups, 107 received medicines, and 13 got free haircuts in the program’s weekly medical mission. This week, 27 more patients will undergo surgery in the mobile hospital.
Jing Castañeda shared that they will also be launching “Botika Pamilya on Wheels” that will be in tandem with the “Hospital on Wheels,” and provide free medicine to the communities they will visit.
ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes emphasized the news organization’s commitment to not just deliver news, but also to provide public service to every Filipino family. “We will not stop in our mission of finding out and responding to the real needs of our countrymen,” she said.
Meanwhile, four more “Hospital on Wheels” will be assembled with the help of the RP Healthcraft Carrier Foundation. Its chairman of the board, Philip Punzalan said that they need approximately 18 “Hospital on Wheels” to be able to cover the entire country. With this, they are hoping to get more support for the project from other organizations and individuals.
For more information on “Hospital on Wheels,” and to gain knowledge and tips on how to care for the Filipino family, tune in every 6 am on Saturday and 7:30 am on Sunday on ABS-CBN or ABS-CBN HD (SkyCable ch 167). Watch online on iwantv.com.ph or skyondemand.com.ph. For more information and updates, follow the show’s social media accounts on Facebook (@ABSCBNsalamatdok) and Twitter (@salamatdok).