The role of medical institutions has always been vital in every society. Without clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities, building healthy, thriving communities would be next to impossible. Adventist Medical Center Manila has been providing medical care for different communities since 1929. From its humble beginnings as a ten-bed clinic, it has now risen to be one of the most respectable hospitals in Manila, continuing to provide various medical services reflective of their Christian core values. We spoke with Ms. Lady Mataya-Dapat to know more about AdventistMed and how they continue to consistently provide ethical and holistic health services despite the challenges brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is no secret that the whole world has been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic. The world as we know it changed right before our eyes, with many services by establishments that we considered as pillars of our communities were brought to a halt. But perhaps no institution has been more greatly affected by the pandemic than hospitals and medical facilities, and Adventist Med is no exception to this. When asked about the challenges the hospital has faced, Lady revealed, “I cannot enumerate the number of changes we had to go through because of the pandemic. In terms of processes, people, finances, talagang naapektuhan [we were really affected].” She continued, “But it has brought us a lot of opportunities as well, so positive naman kami [we still remain positive], because we cannot give up.” Lady stressed that as people working in the medical field, they had the responsibility to remain strong and resilient with their work--to not give up in the face of adversity. She shares that she has never been prouder of AdventistMed’s frontliners, who continue to be committed and dedicated in administering only the best medical care despite the many risks posed to them as health workers. She continues to share that even if the country is starting to slowly resume many of its services, and despite the initial shock brought about by COVID-19 starting to die down, their fight with the virus in the hospital never ceases. Adventist Medical Center doesn’t let its guard down and continues to simultaneously combat these challenges while protecting and caring for the communities they serve.
AdventistMed has come prepared with updated safety procedures since day one. Lady affirms that they meticulously follow all protocols advised by the Department of Health and by the World Health Organization. Sanitizing mats, touchless hand sanitizers, and counter shields have been deployed in every part of the hospital. Social distancing and a no-mask, no-entry policy are both strictly observed within the facilities. With wide scale air purification and centralized exhaust systems, the air is kept well circulated and filtered. Furthermore, on top of a strict pre-registration and appointment scheduling system, they also launched new services, such as online consultations and home care services in order for patients to get the care that they need without facing the risk of travelling all the way to the hospital.
In AdventistMed, just as they administer utmost care to their patients, no employee is a stranger to being equally cared for. All staff members are being regularly given vitamins and health boosters made from fruits and vegetables to keep their immune system strong. Employees who are far from home are provided shelter though the currently vacant dormitories. The hospital also provides a transportation service to its employees on Mondays and Fridays, transferring them to accessible pick-up points so they can go home and spend time with their families and also be safely transported back to the hospital during work days.
Adventist Medical Center prides itself for having core values upheld through Christian faith. These core values are integrity, compassion, excellence, and stewardship--and they are certainly reflected through their service. Lady mentions that although all healthcare institutions should have the same values, AdventistMed differentiates itself by having core values that are powered and impassioned by the Christian faith. She shares that they do not do their jobs only for the sake of doing it--but because they believe that they have been called to serve. Lady also shares that she is witnessing firsthand the passion and dedication of their staff and leaders. “I have seen employees and leaders serving for as long as 44 years, and I see how dedicated they are.” she continues, “Masasabi ko talaga na [I can say that] here, our leaders are servant leaders.”
Along with the values behind their work ethic, Lady believes that another key to their growth as an institution is their consistency in upholding their excellence and by being adaptive despite any circumstances they face. Through their upgraded safety procedures, Lady claims that they have been doing everything possible to adapt to the new normal, saying, “We still provide the best care, kahit na may pandemic [even if there’s a pandemic]. We have embraced the new normal for our patients.”
When asked about what healthcare institutions can further do during this time of pandemic, Lady passionately says, “Use whatever they can in communicating so they can share how people can remain healthy especially during the pandemic.”
Over the past few months, AdventistMed has launched social media and teleradio programs where they educate the public about proper lifestyle and address the root cause of different diseases. Through Facebook livestreams and TeleRadyo programs, AdventistMed has been imparting crucial knowledge to the public with the hopes of reaching as many people as they can. She urges other health institutions to do the same--to utilize their platform to educate the people. “Even if the government is doing its best to inform the public, they cannot really reach everyone. Hindi naman lahat ng tao naniniwala [Not everyone will believe everything being said (by the government)], so the hospitals are very blessed to be institutions with authority and credibility to speak about health.”
These programs are completely free, and are yet another testimony to the passion of Adventist Medical Center in promoting the importance of a healthy lifestyle not only to their patients, but to you, and to everyone else. Lady shares her joy in knowing that their programs are reaching Filipino viewers from all over the world. She says, “I have been viewing the reach of our videos, and people even from the States are watching, as well as people from Canada, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia--ang dami, iba-iba. Nakakatuwa na naaabot talaga yung mga tao. [We reach so many different people. I’m happy knowing that we’re able to really reach them.”
With their desire to continuously give the best medical service while adapting to the new normal, Adventist Medical Center has partnered up with JazzyPay in accepting online cashless payments. “JazzyPay yung ginamit namin kasi available nandoon na yung lahat ng kailangan namin [We used JazzyPay because it has everything we need],” Lady continues to share, “Because of COVID, we have to adapt to the new normal where everything has to be hands-free, and as much as possible walang transactions na face to face [there’s no face to face transactions]. And JazzyPay, I would say, has been one of the ways that we could accept cashless payments to avoid the risk of spreading the virus.”
Adventist Medical Center Manila continues to provide top-notch healthcare with faith, excellence, compassion, and the selfless desire to serve different communities. Reach Adventist Medical Center Manila by contacting +632.525.9191 to 98 or by visiting their Facebook page here.