The formal turnover of the 18 Hyundai Starex Cargo-based ambulance units, held at the Department of Health Compound in Project 4, Quezon City, was presided by (L-R) Dr. Mario Baquilod, MD, OIC Regional Director of the DOH Center for Health Development in MIMAROPA, and Mr. Don Tejero, General Manager of Hyundai Laguna Inc.
Eighteen (18) Hyundai STAREX Cargo ambulance units complete with medical equipment were turned over to the Department of Health (DOH) Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) by Hyundai Biñan under Hyundai Laguna, Inc. These units make for the first batch of the 47 destined for the said Region, and count among the close to 150 customized Hyundai STAREX ambulances that passed the muster of the DOH and its adjunct agencies for mobilization in different parts of the country to ensure that essential services for non-communicable diseases are efficiently delivered amid the nationwide battle against COVID-19.
According to Director Dr. Mario Baquilod, OIC Regional Director of the DOH Center for Health Development MIMAROPA, land ambulances are critical to providing health services in hard-to-reach areas of the Region which is largely made up of long stretches of land. “Malaking bagay (ang mga ambulance na ito) sa pag-transport ng ating mga pasyente who require high level of care…at our district hospitals or provincial hospitals. Habang tina-transport, continuous ang pagbigay ng medical services sa kanila.”
More units are scheduled for turnover to the DOH regional offices in Davao, NCR, and Cagayan Valley towards the end of the year.
The undisputed space, comfort, power, stability, and durability of the Hyundai Starex has made it not only the vehicle of choice of Filipino families, but also as a versatile people and cargo mover.
“We are happy to see our vehicles repurposed to serve the Filipino's multiple needs, particularly in the area of health services in far-flung government hospitals,” said HARI President and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo. “It is quite fitting that the most beloved family van of Filipinos has evolved to save more lives and serve more families on a daily basis.”
At the height of the pandemic, the Biyahe ng Bayani COVID response program of H.A.R.I. Foundation, Inc. (HFI) deployed Grand Starex and H350 units to offer free shuttle rides to thousands of health workers in Metro Manila, Southern and Northern Luzon. Under the Hyundai Ligtas Biyahe program, HARI mobilized its first COVID-ready Modern Jeepneys to support the Department of Transportation's ongoing Libreng Sakay program for health workers.
Ms. Agudo furthered that HARI and its nationwide dealership fortress continue to closely monitor the country's health situation in order to discover more innovative ways to assist the public, flatten the curve, and bring the economy back on its feet.