This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Service Framework for the Comprehensive Management of Abused Women and Children in Quirino Memorial Medical Center
Quirino Memorial Medical Center
The act of violence is a threat to everyone and the growing magnitude of violence against women and children (VAWC) and its health consequences has become a global and serious public health issue. In 1997, as mandated by the Department of Health, the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMCC) established the Women and Children Protection Unit (WCPU) which will cater to health concerns of abused women and children. In 2015, in order for QMMC WCPU to provide appropriate, quality, and comprehensive medical services to abused women and children, a Service Framework for the Comprehensive Management of Abused Women and Children was developed and implemented.
Background and Problem
Since the creation of the WCPU in 1997, in spite of the lack of guidelines on the management of victim/survivor of VAWC from the Department of Health, QMMC WCPU continued to cater its services however deemed inadequate and untimely.
Over the years, the number of abused women and children increased. In 2014-2015 alone, there was an increase of an average of 50 cases per month; however, these cases were not satisfactorily managed. Management of such cases does not only entail medical and psychological interventions but forensic examination as well. Due to lack of medical knowledge, skills, and comprehensive guidelines on the handling of VAWC cases, patients were referred to another agency viewed as more equipped hence resulting in patient’s none or poor healing and recovery. Hence, to fully help VAWC patients heal and recover, a Service Framework for the Comprehensive Management of Abused Women and Children was formulated.
Solution and Impact
The strategy that is important to QMMC is the establishment of Comprehensive Guidelines on the Management of Abused Women and Children. This will be taught and used by all healthcare providers whether directly or indirectly involved in the handling of abused women and children so that victims/survivors of violence against women and children will be provided accessible holistic and dynamic specialized healthcare services in a women-sensitive and women-friendly environment within the hospital. So as to ensure that women and children who consult the WCPU will be treated with the utmost care, concern, understanding, and highest confidentiality. To start this practice, the roles and responsibilities of healthcare unit service providers were analyzed and defined. And then implemented through sensitization, orientation, and continued reorientation of all hospital employees on violence against women and children.
The compliance to the practice resulted in a quality, comprehensive, and holistic management of abused women and children. The services became easily accessible, affordable, and socially responsive. Its medical, psychosocial, and forensic management became systematic, complete, and appropriate. Its coordination with other government and non-government organizations to address other non-medical needs became more organized and apposite. Its cases and experiences were thoroughly documented with the highest confidentiality in an organized gender-sensitive manner which also served as inputs for future policy research, formulation, and program improvement. Significantly, hospital employees became informed of the issues of violence against women and children thereby promoting its prevention. They also became sensitive to the patient’s plight, issues, and concerns thereby giving appropriate and immediate provision of adequate services thereby helping in the patient’s complete healing and recovery.
With the practice on the management of abused women and children, QMMC became the benchmark for different hospitals, agencies, and bureaus both in the Philippines and abroad. The healthcare service providers of WCPU get to be invited to talk, lecture, conduct and teach other service providers on the management of abused women and children. On March 13, 2019, representatives from the different Ministries of Nepal came to QMMC to benchmark and observe the management of abused women and children in a government hospital setting.