SMFI holds 2nd medical and diagnostic mission for its employees


By Rose de la Cruz


The SM Foundation Inc. held its second quarter its medical/dental and diagnostic mission for its employees and their dependents last Saturday in Dasmarinas, Cavite, which also saw hundreds of residents availing of the services at the SM mall.


Located right beside the food court, the mission saw long lines of people—young and old and from all walks of life—even before the mall opened and the set-up was finished.


Two mobile vans with digital X-rays, ultrasound and ECG were on hand to augment the usual diagnostic services made available by medical practitioner partners of SMFI that included the International Academy of Medical Specialists, the International College of Surgeons, ophthalmologists and the medical acupuncture practitioners.


Watson’s pharmacy of the SM Group provided free medicines to patients with prescriptions from the doctors in the mission; even the big number of chairs made available in the venue could not suffice with the number of people who availed of the mission.


Most of the key officials of the malls and retail outlets of SM in Cavite were around to ensure that the mission was a success and a lot of volunteers from the main offices of the SM Group also pitched in.


From clerks, sales ladies, security guards and even employees of locators availed of the services near closing time, or just when the crowds thinned.


SMFI Executive Director Connie Angeles for health and wellness said the swelling numbers of people who attended the medical mission is an indication that people are concerned about their health and well-being but just can’t afford to avail of such costly medical and diagnostic services.


The timing was perfect as children—which constituted most of the patients in the mission—were preparing to return to school this June. And since it was summer, many in their puberty availed of the free circumcision conducted by doctors in the tent area set up inside the mall.


As in the first medical mission in Fairview, there were lectures on how to maintain health heart, kidneys and liver, proper diet and exercise, the ills of smoking and on family planning.


Among the services offered in the medical mission were OB-Gyne checks and ultrasound, pre and post- natal care, pediatrics, eye (with free glasses) and dental checks and treatments, blood tests, consultations and maintenance medicines given free for diabetes, heart and liver problems and many more.


Medical doctors who branched out to acupuncture also treated patients, many of them for the first time, in a separate room within the mall, one of which was a stroke patient who had difficulty walking and opening his mouth but when administered the needles, was able to do so within the day.


The foundation plans to hold the medical missions and diagnostic services for its employees and their dependents every quarter (the first was in Fairview) as many of the employees have exhausted their health cards without even being able to avail of all the benefits due them for the year. Such missions will be done in the whole country, where the Group operates.


“This is our answer to their need for more medical check ups as well as those of their dependents and family members,” Angeles said.

Since we have been making our monthly medical and dental outreach programs for the communities where SM is located, why not for our own employees. This is the true meaning of charity, she explained.

Dr. Bless Bertos, head of SMFI medical and dental missions, said she did not expect such huge number of people showing up and judging by their appearances, they came from all walks of life (the elderly who were wheeled into the venue; infants and toddlers, the poor and the rich) many of whom came from the nearby villages.  

Aside from the monthly medical and dental missions that SMFI conducts for the communities where the Group is located, it also builds new or renovates existing civilian health centers and wards in military and police camps all over the country.

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019
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