March 1, 2024

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda has proposed for the creation of a palliative and hospice care program in Baguio.
As defined in the proposed ordinance, palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life threatening illnesses, while hospice care is end-of-life care provided by skilled health care providers and volunteers trained to help dying people have peace, comfort, and dignity.
The proposal added that palliative and hospice care require holistic and multidisciplinary approach, which includes, but not limited to, physician care, nursing care, medications, counseling, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
The proposed measure is in line with the Department of Health’s Policy on Palliative and Hospice Care, which defines the roles and responsibilities of local government units on the provision of palliative and hospice care in their jurisdiction.
Under the proposal, the City Health Services Office (CHSO) in coordination with the City Social Welfare and Development Office will craft programs for the delivery of quality palliative and hospice care in the city.
The 16 district health centers will be designated as centers for palliative and hospice care and each will integrate in their services the delivery of quality palliative and hospice care with the help of barangay health workers.
They will be mandated to provide palliative and hospice care services through a community home-based care approach. The guidelines will be provided by the CHSO in collaboration with non-government organizations, religious groups, and private institutions.
The proposed ordinance also tasked the CHSO to formulate a policy that will integrate palliative and hospice care into the city’s health care system.
In collaboration with other sectors, the CHSO will also spearhead trainings for health professionals, stakeholders, and the patient’s family members.
The proposed ordinance was approved on first reading and was referred to the committee on health and sanitation, ecology, and environmental protection for review. – Jordan G. Habbiling