The Philippines

CUH is itself a very diverse community with staff from 84 different countries, and some of these personal histories and relationships have inspired and developed our partnerships. CUH has more staff of Filipino heritage than any other national group beyond the British Isles, and we are establishing a formal partnership in the Philippines in acknowledgement of this.

The health partnership will initially focus on essential and emergency surgical and anaesthetic care. Five billion people lack access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care. When surgical care is not readily available, easily treatable conditions become diseases with high fatality rates. In low- and middle-income countries, 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed each year to save lives and prevent disability.

CGHP has established a multidisciplinary team including a Consultant Surgeon, Operations Director, Specialist Nurse, and Researcher to scope the establishment of a health partnership. With guidance from the Department of Health in the Philippines, two regions have been identified for a potential partnership. The CGHP team is visiting these regions and meeting staff from the regional health departments, regional hospital management and surgery departments to understand local plans and challenges.

The next stage is developing the partnership further, following the CGHP team’s meeting with the Bureau of International Health Cooperation at the Department of Health in Manila, as well as other key individuals, to agree the establishment of a formal health partnership.

“I recommend international volunteering ‘because you gain experiences first-hand you would not gain by working in the UK. These include the interactions with the local people and being in the actual environment which gives one more insight into the culture and system.”

Li Mei Koh