Aimed to provide a platform for discussing trends in improving healthcare in the province, the Ilocos Sur Medical Society (ISMS), in collaboration with the UNP College of Medicine, held its Annual Symposium, themed “Back to the Future: Putting Back Strengthened Basics for the Future of Healthcare,” on 26 March 26, 2023 at the UNP Gymnasium.

The scientific committee focused on primary prevention for general health workers and ensuring fairness and consistency of quality services of the health service districts.

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The officers of the Ilocos Sur Medical Society. (Photo credits: Kris Benedict) 

Emphasizing the need to diminish health care inequalities, Dr. Peeble Narita Agdamag, Chairperson of the Scientific Committee, discussed current aging demographics, constantly increasing population, and growth of cases of non-communicable diseases such as cancer.

Dr. Agdamag claimed that “approximately half of the population lack essential healthcare,” which is evidence of “profoundly rooted healthcare inequalities in the country.”

She also added, “Many disadvantaged and socially marginalized Filipinos are unable to access basic and relatively inexpensive consult and screening with physicians.”

Equipped with their knowledge and expertise, members of the ISMS chose to take an opt to counter areas of health risk such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory illnesses, and cancer related cases.

With the expected Filipino population of 153 million by 2050, the entirety of the committee nationwide has served more than 113 million beneficiaries already of the current year.

ISMS asserted through Dr. Agdamag, “While there is still an increase in number, still needed are greater health support systems to keep the increasing population from developing and probably delaying diseases and to keep them out of acute hospital care.”

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