THE Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) inaugurated on February 8 the Adult Cancer Clinic and Infusion Unit located at the fourth floor of the Cancer Institute inside hospital complex that will offer subsidized multidisciplinary care for cancer patients.

"Most of our patients are free or subsidized charity," SPMC Chief Dr. Leopoldo L. Vega told SunStar Davao. "Ninety percent of our patients are subsidized charity, meaning, the hospital assists them through Lingap (para sa Mahirap Program), PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office), and others."

With the inauguration of the Adult Cancer Clinic and Infusion Unit is the operation of its Linear Accelerator (Linac), a pinpoint cobalt machine that delivers radiation therapy at a much more precise target.

"It's like the smart bomb," Vega said in a telephone interview. It's among the best equipment even among private hospitals as many centers for care and equipment of SPMC has evolved into.

"We set the pace for health delivery services," he said. "For so long, it's been the private hospitals that have been setting the pace. Now we set the pace in Davao, just as we have long wanted to."

Speaking during Thursday's Connect forum at SM Lanang Premier, SPMC Medical Oncologist Dr. Felycette Martinez-Lapus said the center is equipped with the needed facility to treat patients living with different types of cancer not only in Davao City but across Mindanao.

“Ngayon, we can see our patients more often because before, we used to share clinics with all the different specialties. We have our own facility, a four-story building. We can accommodate more patients and we have all the facilities,” she said.

“This time, we inaugurated the adult side of the complex and we will cater to all different kinds of cancer. In this institute it is a multi-disciplinary team that will take care of the cancer patients,” she said.

The multidisciplinary approach means that in dealing with their cancer patients, there will be doctors and medical professionals who will work hand in hand to make the treatment of the patients as organized as possible.

They have all the ancillary support such as nurses, staffs, chemical pharmacists, and psychiatrists, among others, to assist the patients on their medical needs.

The Cancer Institute is the first in Mindanao and the largest cancer center in the Philippines. The first floor houses the radiation facilities, the second floor is for pediatric care, the third floor is the infusion unit, and the fourth floor is dedicated for adult in-patients.