10 Philippine Herbal Medicines Endorsed by the Department of Health

Herbal medicine is the use of leaves, barks, roots and flowers of plants for the treatment or prevention of ailments or the promotion of good health. Like China, the Philippines is another country long known for using herbal medicines long before its popularity in the west. In recent years, medical researchers, organizations, pharmaceutical companies and government health agencies took a serious look at folkloric herbal medicines often used by Filipinos in rural areas.

Research and studies by the academe, industries and government confirm the effectively of certain herbs in the treatment of diseases. Many of these herbs also proved to have health benefits in addition to their curative value. The Philippine Department of Health, after thorough evaluation and years of clinical trials have endorsed 10 herbal plants as alternative medicines for various diseases ranging from asthma, hypertension to diabetes.

The 10 herbs endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health are:

1. Akapulko for fungal infections.

2. Ampalaya for diabetes.

3. Bawang for hypertension.

4. Bayabas as antiseptic.

5. Lagundi for asthma

6. Niyog-niyogan for intestinal infestation

7. Sambong as a diuretic

8. Tsaang Gubat for intestinal motility

9. Ulasimang Bato for gout

10. Yerba Buena as analgesic

Caution however is advised to those who wish to try herbal medicines. A lot of research is still to be done and standards of dosage have to be established. Many of the commercially available herbal medicines are listed as supplements and have not passed the stringent standards required by the Bureau of Food and Drug Administration.

Department of Health Urge Healthcare Facilities To Use Appointment Reminders

According to the Department of Health, about one in ten scheduled hospital appointments are missed in a year. These results to an expected loss of millions of dollars as well as the delay of healthcare of patients affected. The government has reportedly encouraged hospitals to find ways to drive their numbers up. Hence, appointment reminders have become quite popular options.

Some hospitals and other healthcare facilities send reminder messages to their patients via the methods preferred. So patients can get the reminder messages via email, text and/or phone calls. A combination of two or more of these methods can also be arranged as long as consent was given beforehand.

Why Patients Miss Appointments

There are various reasons why patients miss appointments but the most popular would be: emergencies, other commitments and simple cases of forgetfulness. However, all three can be resolved with the right choice of appointment reminders software.

Since appointments are set a few days before, there is no knowing what would happen in the days in between. Emergencies at work could happen that could result in you missing an appointment. Patients finding a better deal at another facility even after confirming an appointment also go against the revenue of the clinic. But in a majority of no-show cases, the culprit is the case of forgetfulness.

Representatives of the health industry say that it is very important that people start to realize the importance of showing up on scheduled appointments. Patient care should not be delayed especially if pre-existing conditions have been noted. Doctors’ and nurses’ time are also very important because instead of waiting for you to show up, they could be attending to other patients instead.

There may be genuine reasons for not showing up on appointments, it is vital that the facility be informed. All appointment reminders sent out can be linked to a live representative who can cancel appointments or even reschedule them for you. In other cases, the system will make the changes without requiring manual intervention.

Even if you have just realized that you cannot make it on the day of the appointment, you should still call. Calling can enable the front-desk staff to decide whether to give your spot to a walk-in patient or not. That way, no one’s time gets wasted, the clinic earns and the walk-in patient gets to have his or her health assessed.

Doctors Thank “Healthy Move”

The encouragement and reminder coming from the Department of Health is considered a “healthy move” by doctors. Doctors say that it is high time that the general public be reminded that the state of their health is a shared responsibility between them and their practitioners.

Meanwhile, healthcare facilities have become more creative in terms of the means that appointment reminders are sent. Some use Skype while others use office automation systems that include automated reminders.

Automated appointment reminders usually have upfront costs but are highly effective in terms of securing information and sending reminders on schedule. No matter the software of choice, it remains that the best way to keep the no-show rate low is to constantly remind patients of their appointments.

Government Grants For Communities From the Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the primary Federal agency responsible for safeguarding the physical and mental health of Americans and plays a pivotal role in providing basic human services support particularly to those at or near the poverty threshold.

According to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance the Department of Health and Human Services funds over 395 programs in pursuit of its objectives. HHS operates through 11 divisions and maintains of budget of $460 Million.

Within HHS there are 18 offices that focus on providing services to different demographic groups or health related issues. The Administration for Children and Families (A.C.F.) is charged with responsibility for managing over sixty programs and provide essential human services individuals and families living in poverty.

The Office of Community Services (O.C.S.) is the department within A.C.F. that operates in conjunction with communities across the nation, and other federal and state agencies to ensure the provision of a range of human services and economic development resources to deal with the root causes and impact of poverty and deprivation on individuals and families in those communities. The ultimate goal of all O.C.S. activities is to provide support and models to these communities for increasing self sufficiency and the provide mechanisms for community revitalization that is primarily locally driven.

One of the major programs of the O.C.S. is the Community Services Block Grant which in 2010 will distribute $700 Million to states and other entities across the United States.

The Community Services Block Grant (C.S.B.G.) supplies funding to States, and recognized United States Territories and Indian Tribes. It also funds Community Action Agencies and other nonprofit groups specified by the States with the ultimate objective of eradicating the root causes and effects of poverty on communities around the nation.

The C.S.B.G. provides two types of grants – block grants and discretionary grants. Block grants are only available to States, Indian Tribes and other United States territories (e.g. Washington D.C., Puerto Rico). O.C.S is responsible for the Community Services Block Grant program funding and divides that funds amongst the states based on a methodology factoring in the proportion of people living in poverty in each State and Indian Tribe. The block grants are not awarded on a competitive basis.

Discretionary grants are open to nonprofit groups that have exhibited skill in training individuals and groups on methodologies to effectively deal with the requirements of low-income families and the communities in which they live. These organizations are most likely to be officially designated as Community Action Agencies (CAA’s).

Community Action Agencies are a type of nonprofit organization which had their genesis during the administration of President Johnson 1964 with the initiation of America’s War on Poverty. The mission of Community Action Agencies is an agenda of self-sufficiency – helping community residents to help themselves. Currently there are about one thousand CAA’s serving the people in need in every state and U.S. Territory.

In addition to the discretionary funding which flows through CAA’s, a large part of the block grant funding delivered to states is passed along to Community Action Agencies to support target populations.

10 Reasons Why 03 Numbers Are Being Recommended by the Department of Health

On the 16th December 2008, the Department of Health launched an England-wide consultation to ask whether it should prohibit the use of 0844/ 0845 numbers to access services provided by the NHS.

Increasing numbers of GP practices, pharmacies, Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and opticians use these 08 numbers as they offer improved call features like caller queuing and options for patients to ensure they get through to the right department (e.g. press 1 for appointments, press 2 to speak to a nurse etc.)

The consultation (which closes in March 2009) frequently references 03 telephone numbers as the natural alternative, as they offer the same extra functions as 0844/0845 numbers, but crucially are charged at the same rate as normal landline numbers, even from mobiles.

This is specifically important when 40% of all calls made in the UK last year were from mobiles (Ofcom 2008).

0300 numbers are exclusively for the public sector and are already being used by many NHS organisations including Wiltshire Medical Services, South Staffordshire PCT and West Sussex PCT

Here are 10 reasons why 03 numbers are being advocated by the Department of Health:

1. They meet the needs of the public as they cost the same to call as 01/02 numbers – even from a mobile.

2. There is an extensive range of easy to remember 03 numbers available as they are still relatively new (launched in 2007).

3. The public trust 0300 numbers as they are exclusively for public sector organisations.

4. Organisations can deal with callers more efficiently, gain valuable information about their specific 03 number and ensure all calls are answered by the right person, first time.

5. It’s possible to record calls to 0300 numbers.

6. 0300 numbers can easily move with the organisation if it relocates.

7. Organisations can control where they receive their calls, by rerouting their 03 number to any UK landline or even a mobile phone easily via the web/phone.

8. It’s possible to see the geographic location of callers and the busy periods of the organisation using online call statistics packages.

9. Callers can be queued, meaning that all important calls will be answered.

10. They can often be inexpensive to run if you seek out the provider with the most competitive offering in the market.