DOH expands health services with new BUCAS facilities in Central Luzon

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (PIA) — The Department of Health (DOH) has taken a significant step towards providing accessible healthcare by opening the Bagong Urgent Care and Ambulatory Services (BUCAS) facilities in Central Luzon.

During the sixth episode of the Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas of the Philippine Information Agency, DOH Central Luzon Center for Health Development Regional Director Corazon Flores explained that the BUCAS facilities, located in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga, and the City of San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan, offer a wide range of health services to local communities.

“These facilities aim to address primary care needs and serve the 28 million poorest Filipinos,” she shared.

Flores noted that the DOH hospitals and treatment centers in the region are expanding their facilities and services to meet evolving health needs.

“Our goal is to provide safe, quality, and compassionate healthcare services, including access to affordable medicines across all life stages,” she emphasized.

She also shared that the BUCAS facility in Pampanga, inaugurated in March 2024, is the first in the country.

Meanwhile, Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital Medical Center Chief Monserrat Chichioco explained that the BUCAS concept is designed to ensure all Filipinos, especially the poor, have access to quality healthcare.

“At the BUCAS, we offer services not available in rural health facilities. We bring down services such as laboratory tests, specialist consultations, and urgent care to the community,” she said.

Patients now have better access to healthcare because the BUCAS provides medical services that primary care facilities cannot, addressing the challenges posed by the distance to level 1 and level 2 hospitals.

“We link the services of our primary care facilities with higher-level hospitals to our patients,” she added.

She also announced that initially, their target was to cater to 100 patients per day, but they now average 200 patients per day.

“We have also included an Animal Bite Treatment Center and a Tuberculosis (TB) Directly Observed Treatment Short-course clinic in our BUCAS, where patients can access their maintenance medicine for TB,” Chichioco further explained.

Additionally, Central Luzon boasts 2,484 licensed health facilities, with seven Bagong Pilipinas Mobile Clinics recently distributed to enhance healthcare accessibility.

“With functional Electronic Medical Records in 177 local government units (LGUs) and all DOH hospitals, we ensure efficient health service delivery,” Flores emphasized.

The region is also prepared for health crises, with all 137 LGUs equipped to handle public health emergencies.

“We have prepositioned disaster medicines and logistics to ensure a responsive and resilient health system,” Flores confirmed.

These efforts reflect the DOH’s dedication to disease prevention, mental health, and the protection of health workers, driving Central Luzon towards better health outcomes.