THE West Metro Medical Center (West Metro), a member of the Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc. (MPHHI), formally launched Monday, June 24, the establishment of a cancer center in Zamboanga City.
"We have been working on this project for some time. Some projects are easy to do. And some are not so easy. This cancer center falls under the second category. But as they say, nothing worth having ever comes easy," West Metro president and chief executive officer Ramon Diaz said during the groundbreaking ceremony Monday, June 24.
Diaz said it is about time that the people in the city have access to quality cancer treatment since "a cancer center in Zamboanga City and Western Mindanao is definitely worth having."
"We want to be a hospital that brings to the community services that used to be unavailable, because truly, as our tagline says, West Metro cares," he said, citing it is about time that people in the city have access to quality cancer treatment.
The multi-million facility is the first cancer center to be established by a private hospital in Zamboanga Peninsula.
Jose Noel Dela Paz, MPHHI Corporate Development director, said since the population of the Philippines "is now at almost 100 million, there should be 100 cancer centers but there are only 47 and they are mostly in the city and urban centers."
"Metro Pacific is concentrating on building cancer centers all over the country. We have four so far and this one in Zamboanga City will be our fifth," he added.
The West Metro officials noted that cancer is one of the top three killer diseases in the country, together with the ischemic heart disease and pneumonia.
Out of the almost 600,000 registered deaths in 2016, some 60,470 or 10 percent were due to cancer.
The West Metro Cancer Center is estimated to become operational by the first quarter of 2020.
"We hope to be able to reach out to more cancer patients with this cancer center and we want to strengthen a multidisciplinary approach to treatment in accordance with prevailing standards," said Dr. April Love Malasig, West Metro Cancer Center medical director.
Specially-trained health professionals will man the cancer center, including physicians, nurses, radiation technologists and medical technologists.
The West Metro envisioned the facility to be a comprehensive cancer center with services catering to treatment of patient from the time of diagnosis onwards. (SunStar Philippines)