CLMMRH prepares to become reg’l heart center, surgeries start

A heart operation at the CLMMRH on Monday.*CLMMRH photo

Surgery on 13 indigent heart patients from Negros Occidental and Bacolod City began at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) in Bacolod City on Monday, May 29.

Philippine Heart Center (PHC) and CLMMRH doctors are participating in the 1st Cardiovascular Surgical Mission and will operate on patients aged 3 to 49 years old from May 29 to June 2, Dr. Julius Drilon, CLMMRH chief, said.

Nine are pediatric cases and four are adults, he said.

Drilon and Dr. Joel Abanilla, PHC executive director, also signed a memorandum of agreement on Monday for the training of CLMMRH’s doctors in cardiovascular care in preparation to its becoming a fully operational Regional Heart Center.

The MOA formalizes the partnership between CLMMRH and PHC, Abanilla said.

This will bring advance health care closer to the people of Negros Occidental, Drilon said.

Dr. Julius Drilon, Dr. Joel Abanilla and Dr. Juliet Balderas (l-r) signing the MOA at the CLMMRH on Monday.*CLMMRH photo

CLMMRH , under the Universal Health Care Act, has been identified as the 12th specialty center in the country, which will provide services such as cardiovascular care.

Abanilla, in stressing the importance of cardiovascular care, said heart disease remained the top cause of deaths in the Philippines in 2022.

Philippine Statistics Authority data shows that 125,913 or 17.9 percent of the total deaths in the country last year were from ischemic heart disease followed by cerebrovascular disease – 68,180 or 9.7 percent.

There are a high indigence of deaths among persons with diabetes, two-thirds of whom die from cardiovascular disease, Abanilla also said.

“In every two deaths that we have in the Philippines, one is cardiovascular,” he said.

Many patients from provinces travel to Quezon City to avail the services of the PHC, enduring long lines due to the volume of patients hoping to be catered to by medical specialists.

Creating a Regional Heart Center will ease the difficulties of patients and decongest the PHC, Drilon said.

Drilon is set to retire as CLMMRH chief in October on reaching the mandatory retirement age.*

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