Employees of SM and their families and dependents queue for a consultation with the doctors and specialists tapped by the SM Foundation during their recent medical-dental mission in SM San Fernando in Pampanga.

Concern for its employees and their dependents prompted retail giant SM, through the SM Foundation, to initiate a medical-dental and diagnostic mission in SM malls every quarter of the year in predetermined malls.

Recently, at the Trade Hall of SM City Pampanga, SM employees and their dependents availed of these services. It was the third medical/dental and diagnostic mission held for their benefit.

According to SM Foundation executive director Connie Angeles, it is a grand medical mission for employees and dependents.

“We make sure that it is something special for them, so we ask the International College of Surgeons and the International Academy of Medical Specialists to join us,” Angeles said.

Not all the medical services being offered during the medical mission are affordable to the employees if they do it in hospitals or clinics, she noted.

Dr. Gil M. Vicente, president of both the International College of Surgeons and International Academy of Medical Specialists, said they tie up with organizations with the same advocacy, instilling in their members social responsibility.

Program partners for the medical mission were the Philippine Red Cross, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko, and Watsons. Also lending support were Ideal Vision and the Philippine Academy of Medical Specialists Inc.

Representing Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko was former senator Orly Mercado, who shared that their organization’s role is for patient navigation and management.

Through their public affairs program, continuity of what has been achieved in the medical mission is assured.

Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko provides the continuity that medical missions need, Mercado added.

“It is a critical mechanism because it provides follow through and then that’s when you begin to see the continuous help to patients,” he added, noting it is especially true for patients who need full and longer assistance.

Support has to be multi-sectoral that is why Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko cooperates with other hospitals and doctors who would be able to help patients with specific needs.

While other entities conduct their own medical missions, SM Foundation’s is comprehensive in nature.

Aside from the various medical specialists available to extend assistance, its pharmacy boasts of medicines to be given to patients as prescribed by the doctors.

Project Manager Albert Uy shared that SM Foundation allots a budget to purchase the medicines to augment donations coming from pharmaceutical companies.

The list of medicines in the pharmacy are regularly updated per doctors’ recommendations.

The Foundation sees to it that there is adequate supply of medicines and that the complete dose of medicines including antibiotics are given. This unburdens the patients from buying their medication, Uy said.

Among the services offered during the medical mission were medical consultation, ENT, ophthalmology, optometry, dermatology, OB-Gyne, PAP smear, minor surgery, dental extraction, bone screening, X-Ray, ECG and diagnostic laboratory tests for sugar, cholesterol, uric acid, and hemoglobin levels.

Minor surgery was also conducted to 14 patients. A total of 1,737 patients were served.

Source: Manila Standard