The Department of Health’s (DOH) office in the Mimaropa region had provided a total of 121 surgical operations – 51 major and 70 minor — since its caravan, “ToDOH Alaga, May TSekAP Na, May Operasyon Pa!”, began at the Dr. Damian Reyes Provincial Hospital in Boac, Marinduque last July 13, its chief reported.
“Now that we have proven that we can provide free surgical operations and addressed the health needs at no cost to our indigent patients, we will sustain this project until all people requiring various kinds of surgery in the region will be provided for and taken care of,” DOH-Mimaropa regional director, Dr. Eduardo Janairo, said during recognition rites held at the Century Park Hotel Monday.
Mimaropa covers Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan.
Janairo reported that in Marinduque, the surgical caravan conducted 12 major and 38 minor surgeries, and 58 patients were referred to the Rizal Medical Center (RMC) in Pasig. In Oriental Mindoro, 36 major and 21 minor surgeries were performed, and three patients were referred to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) in Quezon City. In Palawan, three major and 11 minor operations were done, while six patients were referred to the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) in Quezon City and two patients who needed major surgery were referred to the Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital (CSGH) in Culion, Palawan.
The procedures were done to remove giant tumors and cysts, goiter, nasal polyps, hernia, breast mass and skin tags, among others.
He said screening and pre-assessment of patients are ongoing in the provinces of Romblon and Occidental Mindoro and surgical services would be scheduled later.
Janairo assured that expenses for the surgery are covered by various government agencies, among them the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) office in Mimaropa, PhilHealth and the DOH Medical Assistance Program. These expenses include laboratory and diagnostic procedures, drugs, medicines, supplies, and professional fees incurred before and after the operation.
“The realization of the surgical caravan is due to the unwavering commitment and selfless dedication of all stakeholders, including members of the visiting hospitals, staff of host hospitals and the local government units of Mimaropa that were instrumental in the success of this project,” Janairo said.
He also thanked the DSWD for providing food packs and transportation fares to the families of patients who have undergone surgery to ensure that they have food to eat, especially those who were referred to hospitals outside the region.
The DOH also ensured that there were “halfway houses” where the patients’ families could stay during the pre- and post-surgical operations.