SM Foundation, through its Health and Wellness programs, offers a wide array of efforts for its stakeholders when it comes to giving access to basic healthcare services.
One of these social good efforts is the roaming SMFI mobile clinics—which provides medical services to grassroot communities, especially in areas where SM operates.
Currently, SMFI has five state-of-the-art mobile clinics which are equipped to conduct diagnostic services such as x-ray, ECG, glucose test, uric acid test, ultrasound, and many more.
These five mobile clinics are deployed across the country mainly to complement the medical mission activities of SM Foundation. More so, these medical laboratories on wheels are also used to provide immediate healthcare in areas devastated by calamites and other emergencies.
“Our SM Mobile Clinics were deployed to support our ‘Gamot Para sa Kapwa‘ Medical Missions. The mobile health facility intends to provide diagnostic and laboratory services to those who cannot afford laboratory services and in areas where no such services are available,” SMFI Executive Director for Health and Medical Programs Connie Angeles said.
“These mobile clinics are also available and ready in cases of emergencies and calamities—like the recent earthquake in Porac, Pampanga, the Taal Volcano eruption and aftermath of strong typhoons like the Yolanda,” she further added.
Angeles mentioned that as part of their operations, SMFI coordinates with national and local partners before the conduct of SMFI’s health caravans.
“The team is composed of a doctor, a radiologist, and some of our health and wellness officers. We also ensure that the coordination with project partners such as the Municipal Health Departments, AFP Military Medical Team, Philippine Red Cross and other medical organizations are done to address the unique health challenges of the area, service more beneficiaries and to ensure the smooth flow of the activity,” she said.
Mobile Clinics as Mobile Swabbing Stations
During these challenging times and with limited medical missions, our SM mobile clinics are serving another purpose. “Three of the five mobile clinics are in the National Capital Region (NCR) and are being utilized as a Swabbing Stations for SM employees and other personnel who in one way or another are connected to the SM Group of Companies,” Angeles disclosed.
During the onset of the pandemic, Dr. Bless Bertos, a doctor of the SM Foundation was sent to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to undergo a two-month training on the preparation and procedure of swabbing. After her training, one of the Mobile Clinics was turned into a Swabbing Center for SM companies & its affiliates, employees including family members.
According to Dr. Bertos, the Center started with an average of 20 patients daily – but with the current pandemic challenge, the facility currently serves an average of 70 patients a day. She says the highest so far is 180 /day with a combination of Antigen testing & RT PCR.
Dr. Bertos says that SMFI ensures the safety of the health and wellness team manning the mobile stations. Part of their everyday OOTD includes wearing PPE, face masks, face shields & gloves during their deployment. Physical distancing is required of patients availing of the services aside from the use of face masks & face shields. Foot-pumped alcohols are also stationed at the entrance and exit of the mobile clinic.
“The mobile health facility is cleaned with a disinfectant spray after every patient is served. Also, every Thursday, a professional disinfecting team also does sanitation services for the clinic. Infectious wastes are properly disposed & stored in a special container for collection of DENR-accredited Infectious Waste Disposal team. These precautionary measures are done to protect the spread of the virus,” she added.
SM Foundation, through its Health and Medical Program, upgrades public health centers in its host communities, complemented by its medical caravans across the country. To date, it has renovated more than 160 health and wellness centers and served more than 1 million patients during its medical missions.