Inter-Local Health Zone composed of Bagumbayan, Isulan, Tacurong, Esperanza, and Sen. Ninoy Aquino (B.I.T.E.S.) was adjudged as one of the Top 8 health clusters in the country for year 2012.
An evaluation team from the Department of Health (DOH) Central Office conducted a site evaluation on 21 October 2013. Evaluators Dr. Anthony Kho, Ma. Olga Bulasa, and Janice Feliciano shared their observations and insights in an exit conference conducted on 22 October 2013 in Palm Bistro, Tacurong City. Present during the conference were Bagumbayan Mayor Bernardita Bitoonon, Isulan Mayor Diosdado Pallasigue, Tacurong City Mayor Lina O. Montilla, and Esperanza Mayor Helen Latog.
During the conference, DOH evaluators stressed the importance of program documentation and the role of policy-makers in sustaining the efforts of B.I.T.E.S.
B.I.T.E.S. was also lauded for its program in ensuring availability of blood supply for the improvement of maternal health in the province of Sultan Kudarat. This program is in support of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal #5—improvement of maternal health by reducing maternal mortality.
B.I.T.E.S. works with the Philippine Red Cross to provide immediate and free blood supply to indigent mothers in their area of coverage.
Through B.I.T.E.S., a number of private hospitals entered into a memorandum of agreement with local government units granting indigent patients for OB and surgical services with No Balance Billing or NBB. For each patient, BITEs pays P3,000.00 to private hospitals.
Mayors and health officers of B.I.T.E.S. hold quarterly meetings to discuss health concerns in their areas and decide on solutions. They also hold emergency and special meetings to discuss urgent concerns on health system and delivery.
The national winner for 2012 Best Inter-Local Health Zone will be announced on November 2013 while awarding ceremonies will be held on December 11, 2013. (Jezereel Louise C. Billano-LGU Tacurong Information)