MACTAN-BASED ARC Hospitals has expanded its health services by opening its Eye Center in response to the rising demand for advanced eye center facilities in Cebu.
ARC Hospital’s medical director Dr. Alex Alegrado said they are introducing a new way of testing visual acuity in just seconds with the use of Kaleidos diagnostic machine that sends results in the computer for eye readings.
The Kaleidos provides a non-traditional checking of the eyes.
“This is very useful, especially when it comes to children. In just a few seconds you’ll find out already what you need in terms of eye grade and corrections,” he said.
Alegrado said they made sure their partners in the hospital can provide the patients with good quality healthcare and that they are open to technological advances.
With this, he said their facility continues to bring in state-of-the-art technology to improve the healthcare system in Lapu-Lapu City.
“We stand by our vision which is to provide exceptional healthcare in the Philippines and to do this, we have to bring in new technology,” he said.
The eye center, which is an affiliate of Borough Center for Sight, offers SmartSurf Ace laser vision correction and precision refractive lens exchange and cataract surgery.
Its ophthalmic surgeons are also trained in the country and abroad.
“This is an advancement in medical technology. So far, it’s very accurate in its readings,” he said.
Alegrado said this expansion of healthcare services is in support of the new law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte called Republic Act 11358, also known as the National Vision Screening Act, that mandates to establish the National Vision Screening Program under the Department of Education.
It is intended to screen the eye vision of kindergarten students and identify eye problems at early childhood.
“If you have kids, they cannot stand long to do (tests). So with this, you’re going to tell them to look for about five seconds and then it’s done. It’s very family friendly,” he said.
Shortage of medical workers
Meanwhile, Julie Alegrado-Vergara, chairperson of the ARC Hospitals, said there is a shortage of manpower in the medical field in Cebu.
She said the health care industry is losing these medical professionals to high-paying call center businesses and overseas opportunities.
Because the Philippines produces the best nurses, Alegrado said countries are also eyeing to hire Filipino nurses.
“They like the way we treat our patients,” she said.
Alegrado said they are looking for all medical positions like nurses and doctors.
“The challenge is the supply of nurses, the manpower. We have to make sure we have all the support we can get, before we can do the expansion, otherwise we’ll be having a big problem,” she said.
Alegrado said they are coordinating with schools to support them with the needed medical professionals.
She urged the academe to mount more classes for medical students.
“There was one point that there was no demand for nurses abroad so they cut the number of classes. But now, there’s a need again, and schools have been expanding the number of classes and students for this year,” she said.
To support the medical facility, Alegrado said they are tapping the Cebu Institute of Technology-University and Cebu Normal University to supply them with nurses.
“We’re still looking for ways. Hopefully, they (nursing graduates) will come and work here first. We are trying to convince them to stay, after all there’s no place like home,” Alegrado said.
She assured that they will have a better career path in ARC.
“Whether they are doctors or staff, we want them to grow as a person and as a professional,” she said.