Manila Doctors Hospital
Healthcare Equality & Accessibility for the Right of the Deaf (HEARD): Healthcare Access Team for the Deaf on COVID19 (HAT4DOCovid19)
Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are often unjustly overlooked in pandemic response efforts. The Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH) sought to address this gap through its groundbreaking Healthcare Equality & Accessibility for the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD) program. Under this initiative, MDH teamed up with various partners to create a simple online mechanism that allowed deaf patients to access free consultations, crucial information, and support services regarding COVID-19. Its goal is to provide healthcare service to deaf people without the risk of service providers getting exposed to COVID-19.
To address this, the project has a three-pronged approach. First, it provides free online consultations for patients. If necessary, doctors can also issue prescriptions using the first deaf- and senior citizen-friendly prescription pad. Second, the project provides relevant information in a deaf-friendly manner. Its social media page features videos and collaterals which provide necessary information on how to navigate lockdown rules and access support. Third, the project also provides transportation for deaf patients should they need to be tested for COVID-19 or be confined in healthcare institutions.
MDH is the only hospital in the Philippines which purposely made a concerted effort for deaf communities during the pandemic. Its initiatives were backed by a number of partners, including the Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters (PNASLI).