Free medical checkup for senior citizens eyed

Senior citizens in the city stand to get added benefits from the local government once a pending proposed ordinance will be enacted, providing free medical general examination checkup for senior citizens during their birth months as a gesture of gratitude for their contributions to the development of the city.

Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano explained the proposed local legislative measure will cover all senior citizens who are bonafide residents and registered voters of the city.

Under the said proposal, she revealed that to avail of the free services the beneficiaries, aside from having been previously provided, shall be registered with the City Social Welfare and Development Office – Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs at least 6 months prior to his or her birthday and that the said office shall issue the required certification relative thereto.

She explained the general medical examination or checkup shall be done at any city government health center or barangay health unit by the designated City Health Services Office (CHSO) medical personnel.

Further, the CHSO may enter into an agreement or arrangement with the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) to facilitate or provide a facility for the sustained implementation of the proposed local legislative measure.

The ordinance tasked the CHSO to be the lead local government department in making sure of the sustained implementation of the measure once it will be enacted.

Moreover, the concerned local government department shall keep a record of all activities relative to the implementation of the ordinance for future reference or benchmarking for medical reviews and studies with regard the health condition of the elderly in the city and it shall likewise adjust accordingly its annual budget to include the needed funds for the continuous implementation of the free medical checkup for senior citizens in the city.

Sembrano claimed that as people grow older there are changes in the physical and physiological wellbeing manifested in one’s health and physical condition and many health concerns, such as diseases and other maladies, may crop up during the said stage in life as the body defense capability wanes because of age and environmental conditions.

According to her senior citizens, despite being past their prime, can still be productive and can leave a quality life while aging gracefully, through local government or community health support systems allowed by law and cultural or customary practices.

She claimed most senior citizens have limited financial resources, depending on their meager pensions, assistance from children or earning from certain businesses they may be engaged in, for food, medicines and other basic needs. A local government free health care program on early detection, prevention or control of diseases, accessible to all senior citizens, especially the financially challenged, would ensure that proper care is given to the city’s elderly constituents as an expression of gratitude for their contributions to their respective communities and the city in general. - Dexter A. See