DepEd eyes to add 1,800 school clinics nationwide

By DepEd

PASIG CITY, (Mar. 19) — Committed to nurture healthy learners, the Department of Education (DepEd) is planning to establish more than 1,800 additional dental and medical clinics in schools nationwide by the end of the second quarter this year. 

“We are looking to equip more schools with clinics equipped with a lavatory and water system for handwashing and cleaning needs, comfort room, and patient’s receiving area in our commitment to strengthen schools’ capacity to protect our learners, especially with our current situation,” Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.

To be built under the School Dental Health Care Program (SDHCP), these clinics will also have health personnel, a medical officer, dentist, and nurse, and an alternate trained clinic teacher who will supervise the clinic in their absence.

“The said clinics can also cater to students in other nearby schools, both elementary and high school,” Bureau of Learner Support Service (BLSS)-OIC Director Lope Santos III shared during his monitoring of various Oplan Kalusugan (OK) sa DepEd programs in DepEd-Region III.

According to Dr. Leoncio Del Corro, the Regional III Supervising Dentist, 144 or about 80% of the recipient schools already received and installed the dental chairs, examination table, hospital bed, wheelchair, and over-the-counter (OTC ) medicines.

Dr. Del Corro also shared that the pandemic affected the capability of school clinics to provide medical and dental services to their stakeholders.

“Ang number one na challenge na ating haharapin ngayon ay kung magkaroon na tayo ng mga learners sa schools, para makapgabigay na tayo ng dental services, hindi lang sa mga learners, pati na rin sa mga teachers and personnel natin sa panahon ng New Normal,” Dr. Del Corro said.

“Masasabi ko na ready na ang ating mga school dental health care program kapag nagkaroon na ng face-to-face, at mai-deliver natin lahat ng kinakailangang serbiyo. Hindi lang dental, pati ‘yong medical services and nursing services, including ‘yong lahat ng flagship programs natin sa OK sa DepEd mai-deliver rin natin,” he added.

Other DepEd’s flagship programs monitored and visited by the Department are School-Based Feeding Program, WASH in Schools, Gulayan sa Paaralan, School In A Garden, Gabaldon School Buildings, and Sports Facilities.

After the three-day monitoring of Central Luzon schools, OIC-Dir. Santos III takes note of the recommended ways to improve the Department’s programs and projects.

“Matagumpay nating naisagawa ito at napakaganda ng participation ng mga school divisions natin. Na-achieved natin ‘yong objective ng ating field monitoring, nakita natin ‘yong sitwasyon ng ating mga programa, at narinig din natin ‘yong mga issues and concerns na ipinaabot ng ating mga stakeholders,” said Santos III.

The three-day monitoring progress of programs and projects under the Office of the Undersecretary for Administration was conducted in Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Bulacan by the representatives from OUA, BLSS, BLSS-School Health Division (SHD), BLSS-Youth Formation Division, and BLSS-School Sports Division. (DepEd)