Over 70 health professionals gathered in a summit to plan a more responsive policies to address the growing health concerns of inmates or persons deprived of liberty (PDL) and personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
The BJMP, through its Directorate for Health Service (DHS), has introduced healthcare reform programs in jails for the PDLs among others.
Health professionals composed of medical officers, nurses, psychologists, psychometricians and dentists attended the three-day summit.
BJMP chief Director Allan Iral said the event enabled health care professionals to craft health policies to benefit PDLs.
Iral stressed it was also an avenue to revisit the existing policies and health programs to fit the current healthcare setting of detention facilities under the BJMP.
He said the forum also clarified and institutionalized responsive protocols on personnel recruitment, training, and promotion.
DHS director Senior Superintendent Arthur Lorenzo said there is a need to unify the implementation of policies and improve the quality of healthcare service in jails.
“We must enhance the quality, coordination and accessibility of basic healthcare services in jails as our first step in reforming our health system,” Lorenzo mentioned during his closing remarks.
Meanwhile, among the highpoints in the forum was the sharing of accomplishment and best health practices in the regions, such as the continuous effort to make all jails tobacco-free facilities in compliance with the Department of Health’s administrative directive promoting 100 percent smoke-free environment.
In 2018, there were 122 BJMP jails recognized as tobacco-free while 66 jails are still in the process of validation based on the quality standards of Tobacco Prevention and Control set by the World Health Organization.