THE National Government launched on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, the country’s first Lung Transplant Program, which according to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is a testament of the administration’s commitment to Filipinos’ healthcare.
Marcos led the launching of the program at the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) in Quezon City where he also reminded healthcare professionals of their duty to serve Filipinos.
“Let us remember that healthcare is our covenant with the people, a public commitment driven by neither political agenda nor personal legacy projects. In this hospital where heroes walked and worked, may this program be a testament to our unwavering duty to serve the Filipinos,” he said in his speech.
The program was jointly crafted by the LCP and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in November 2022 to develop a lung transplant manual that addresses barriers, such as lack of infrastructure and organ donation and allocation system, limited access to trained personnel and financial constraints.
Under the program, the LCP will improve its infrastructure capacity, which includes the renovation of its post-anesthesia care unit worth P4.2 million and surgical intensive care unit amounting to P1.8 million, which will be funded through the 2024 General Appropriations Act and private sector donations.
From January to July 2023, pneumonia and other forms of respiratory diseases were among the top 20 causes of mortality among Filipinos.
Acute lower respiratory tract infection and tuberculosis (TB) also remain among the top causes of illness in the country.
Marcos commended the LCP and the NKTI for its unwavering commitment to the healthcare system of the Philippines and to the people, especially during those trying times when the country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Nais naming ipaabot ang aming taus-pusong pasasalamat dahil sa inyong katapangan (We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for your courage). Your gallant acts do not fade with time, then gratitude has no expiry date either. In LCP and NKTI, these words ring true: ‘Never was so much owed by so many to so few’,” said Marcos.
“The partnership between LCP and NKTI can be a template in which hospitals pool their resources and share assets to boost patient care and improve bottom lines. The launch of the LCP and the NKTI Lung Transplant Program is an application of the proven maxim that two heads -- two hospitals -- are better than one,” he added.
Marcos vowed to establish 179 more medical specialty centers, seven of which are dedicated as lung care centers, all throughout the country before his term ends in 2028.
Earlier, he said the government has already established 131 functional specialty centers nationwide, of which nine are designated lung specialty centers that aim to bring lung care closer to Filipinos, particularly in the rural areas.
Marcos also vowed to work on the rebuilding of the NKTI Annex building which was hit by a fire in 1998.
He also reiterated the government commitment to help doctors strengthen their knowledge and skills by conducting training through the “Doctors to the Barrios Program” as “their development is critical to the realization of universal healthcare.”
He also cited the implementation of the expanded nursing education program of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) and the Department of Health (DOH) that aims to address the shortage of nurses while ensuring their future supply. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)