SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Eleven Botika ng Bayan will go on full operation in various health units (RHUs) in the province before the end of this month.
Dr. Feman Rene Autajay, Department of Health (DOH) Team Leader in the province, said residents will now be able to buy their medicines from any of the branches near them. He noted that the Botika ng Bayan is established in municipalities where there are no government hospitals.
“Botika ng Bayan in the RHUs have also been assigned with pharmacists by the DOH,” he said in an interview on Wednesday.
Autajay said Botika ng Bayan branches will also be established in the eight district hospitals, including in the Sebaste Municipal Hospital in Sebaste town.
“Although the hospitals have yet to launch their Botika ng Bayan, but then there are already medicines which the people could avail for free,” he said.
The hospitals that are set to launch their Botika ng Bayan are the Ramon Maza Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Sibalom, Culasi District Hospital in Culasi, Justice Calixto Zaldivar Memorial General Hospital in Pandan, Pedro L. Gindap Municipal Hospital in Barbaza, Valderrama Medical Hospital in Valderrama, Diosdado Macapagal Hospital in Tobias Fornier, Bugasong Medicare Community Hospital in Bugasong, and Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital in this capital town.
Autajay said last year, the Office of Antique Rep. Loren Legarda allocated, through the DOH, a total of PHP84 million for the medicines and salaries of pharmacists for the Botika ng Bayan in RHUs and hospitals.
Of the amount, the allocation for medicines was PHP64 million and PHP20 million for the salaries of pharmacists.
“Bidding for the medicines was done November 2020 but the suppliers are only able to deliver starting this year,” Autajay said.
He said the Botika ng Bayan in Rafael Tumbokon Hospital in Kalibo, and at the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) and Western Visayas State University Medical Center (WVSUMC) both in Iloilo City, also received PHP2 million each from the appropriation for medicines since patients, especially in the northern part of Antique, usually seek consultation and treatment at these hospitals.
“The pharmacists at the Botika ng Bayan could dispense medicines to the Antiqueño patients so long as they have the doctor’s prescription,” Autajay said.
He added that various medicines are available at the government drug stores including vitamins that people need to boost their immune system during this time of a pandemic. (PNA)