Kick the habit and save lives, Medgate urges

by Manila Standard

GIVING up smoking could be the best new year’s resolution for the country’s 17-million smokers, saving smokers and their families from tens of thousands of pesos in potential medical costs.

Medgate Philippines Chief Executive Officer Robert Parker said the Department of Health should be commended for launching an aggressive anti-tobacco campaign that highlights the health and economic harms of smoking to families.

“Modern medicine allows us to address many of the health problems encountered by smokers, but the best solution to all these problems is simply quitting,” said Parker, whose company, Medgate Philippines, is the leading international provider of telemedicine, with operations in Switzerland, the Middle East, Australia, and the Philippines.

Telemedicine is the use of electronic communications to transmit and exchange medical information and data to treat patients. It allows people to consult doctors via their cellular phones instead of queuing in line at the doctor’s office.

Parker explained smokers were vulnerable to medical issues, “like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and heart disease.”

“Telemedicine provides a means by which a smoker can immediately consult a doctor so he or she can find out the extent of one’s health issues.”

Launched last October, the DOH anti-smoking campaign, called “Protect Your Family, Stop Smoking!” is designed to encourage quitting the habit.“

With more than 17 million Filipinos still addicted to tobacco use, there’s more work to be done to reduce the health and economic harms of tobacco. We are confident that this campaign, with its clear message targeted at Filipino families, will encourage more people to try to quit smoking tobacco,” said Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial.