First hemodialysis center opens in Camotes Islands

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia led Capitol and municipal officials of Camotes in inaugurating the 10-unit dialysis center at the Ricardo L. Maningo Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, Camotes on March 18, 2024.
Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia led Capitol and municipal officials of Camotes in inaugurating the 10-unit dialysis center at the Ricardo L. Maningo Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, Camotes on March 18, 2024. (Sugbo News Photo)

RESIDENTS of Camotes Islands with renal diseases no longer need to cross to mainland Cebu for their dialysis treatments, as the first and only hemodialysis center in Camotes opened on Monday, March 18, 2024.

The Cebu Provincial Government launched on March 18, 2024, the 10-hemodialysis machine at the Ricardo L. Maningo Memorial Hospital (RLMMH) in the town of San Francisco, according to a live video streamed from the Capitol's official social media arm, Sugbo News, on Monday.

Persons with disabilities (PWD) beneficiaries of the Abag Sugbo Program can avail of the dialysis machine for free.

Doctor Rene Macario Borromeo, chief of the RLMMH, said that the launching of the dialysis machine on the island alleviates the transportation expenses and woes of the renal patients in Camotes.

He said that patients traveling to the Cebu Provincial Hospital - Danao have to worry not only about the travel expenses but also about accommodation, food, and miscellaneous expenses, particularly with those with a companion.

The threat of postponed sea trips due to unfavorable weather conditions may also delay treatments of the renal patients in the islands, Borromeo added.

He assured that the hospital's nurses and staff have undergone training in partnership with the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) for the operation and maintenance of the new medical equipment while benchmarking at the Cebu Provincial Hospital-Danao for the actual operation of the machines.

The 10 dialysis machines were provided by Medtronix Medical Supplies and Equipment in partnership with the Cebu Provincial Government.

The Department of Health (DOH) issued a license to operate the dialysis center, while the Cebu Provincial Government also assigned a nephrologist, a medical doctor who specializes in kidney care and treating diseases of the kidneys at the dialysis center.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia together with the mayors of the Camotes Islands, San Francisco Mayor Alfredo A. Arquillano Jr., Tudela Mayor Greman "Jojo" Solante, Poro Mayor Edgar Rama, and Pilar Mayor Manuel "Winky" Santiago, Board members Andrei 'Red' Duterte, Stanley Caminero, and Mike Villamor led the ceremonial launching and inauguration of the new dialysis center in the island.

With the rate of P2,500 per session, the dialysis treatment at the Capitol-run public hospital is cheaper than a private hemodialysis center ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 per session.

In 2023, Garcia made the dialysis treatment and session from the Capitol-run public hospital in the cities of Danao and Carcar, free for indigent beneficiaries.

"Busa mga kaigsoonan nako diri sa Camotes, up and running na gyud ang atoang dialysis center ilabi na nga aduna natay Nephrologist," Garcia said.

On the other hand, Caminero said that Cebu is the only province in the country with the most dialysis machines at 52 units placed in the strategic location.

He added that this will increase to 62 units by Wednesday, March 20 as 10 additional machines will be inaugurated in Bantayan Island.

There are now four Capitol-run hospitals with dialysis centers located in the provincial hospitals in Balamban with 10 dialysis units, while the cities of Danao and Carcar have 15 units each.

Aside from the installation of dialysis machines, the Cebu Provincial Government wants to upgrade the RLMMH from infirmary status to Level 1 accreditation under the DOH classifications.

From its current capacity of 25 beds, the governor wants to increase its capability to 150 beds through the construction of a three-story building.

The RLMMH is only the existing hospital in the Camotes group of islands, Garcia said. It serves around 50-70 patients above the limit. (EHP)


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