The SHJP Parish Clinic: Affordable Basic Health Services for the Poor

For five days a week, our sitio parishioners are welcome to avail of medical services and medicine at our Parish Clinic for a minimal fee. 

Spearheaded by the Commission on Service and Human Promotions, our Clinic is the realization of our vision for a more sustainable means of extending health and medical services to members of our community from the sitios.  That vision started with health and medical missions that were organized by the Commission with different volunteer groups in our community.  With hardly any resources to rent a space for the clinic, to buy necessary equipment, and even to hire staff, we were able to start our Parish Clinic in 2008 after one of our parishioners agreed to let us use – free of rent -- a 35-square meter space that he owned in one of the commercial establishments along the West Service Road.
 
Located only five minutes away from our current parish church, our Clinic started with a focus on health and medical services for children and has now expanded to offer a variety of basic health services. Operating eight hours a day for five days a week, there are schedules for a dermatologist, an OB-GYN, a pediatrician, an ophthalmologist, an adult internist throughout the week. We also have two nurses to assist in the consultations and treatments. Two years ago, we added dental services to our clinic. We are proud to say that our entire medical staff are volunteers and our very own parishioners!  
 
Because most of our patients come from the nearby sitios, we implement a socialized pricing scheme at our Parish Clinic.  With the help of two coordinators from the sitios, our Clinic Administrators determine the amount of the donation that will be requested from the parishioners availing of our Clinic’s services, but this usually ranges from P100 to P250 per patient only – a far cry from the P700 to P800 consultation fee of most private clinics and hospitals. For this minimal fee, a patient may consult with any of our doctors and avail of medicine from our Clinic’s pharmacy. Our Clinic is also open to the househelp from the nearby villages/subdivisions. On the average, we serve 250 people per month, mostly children and patients with cases of upper respiratory tract infections, stomach aches, rashes, and flu.     
 
Recognizing its limitations, our Parish Clinic has partnered with the Outpatient Pediatric Department of the Asian Hospital in (place).  For cases requiring more than basic medical care, we refer patients to resident doctors of the said hospital for a minimal one-time fee of P150.  We also work with the Asian Hospital in conducting lectures on hygiene in the public schools within our parish community and in conducting our parish feeding program.  
 
  • Our Parish Feeding Program caters to children seven years old and younger, and aims to address malnutrition in the sitios.  Currently implemented in three sitios in our parish community, our feeding program runs for six months at a time, three days a week.  “Sitio nanays” organize the children and prepare the breakfast, which usually consists of fortified rice and milk.   Our feeding program has been running for more than five years now, and has been supported by such organizations as the Hapag-asa CARITAS and the Sweetheart Foundation, among others.  
  • Our Parish Livelihood Program teaches women from the sitios to make crocheted products, which are then sold at the parish church.  Running for two years, our livelihood program will soon include dress-making, following the recent donation of several sewing machines to our parish.  
  • Communities Sharing the Word of God.  Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) are also present at the SHJP as a regular vehicle for the spiritual formation of our parishioners, and as venues for experiential sharing and reflection on the Bible.  Currently active in all the sitios of our parish community, attendance in large BEC gatherings sometimes reach up to 700 members.  BEC leaders and core members are active church workers, and continue to invite more parishioners to join.  It is our vision to expand the BECs to all villages in our parish community.