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Dialysis center for non-Covid patients now open
By: Mylen Manto | Published Saturday, August 15, 2020
A satellite hemodialysis center for non-Covid patients of the Province of Cebu is now open at SM Seaside City Cebu. (Tonee Despojo)

Dialysis patients who are residing in Cebu Province no longer need to go to hospitals in Cebu City for treatment. Ten hemodialysis units intended for non-Covid patients are now available at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) Dialysis Center at SM Seaside City Cebu which opened on Friday, August 14.

Apart from these units, the Capitol also intends to put up separate dialysis centers in the provincial hospitals in the cities of Carcar, Danao, Bogo, and Balamban town.

The Department of Health (DOH) approved Governor Gwendolyn Garcia's request for the Province of Cebu to be included in the DOH-Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) Hemodialysis Package to serve its renal patients sent on July 17, 2020.

Hemodialysis is a treatment of purifying the blood of a person whose kidneys are not working normally.  

Garcia signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Thursday, August 13, together with VSMMC Head Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., DOH 7 Assistant Regional Director Dr. Guy Perez, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Vice President and Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Executive Committee Maria Eloisa Fernan through an online Zoom meeting.

The virtual signing were witnessed by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Sec. Jose Ma. Concepcion III, Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Sec. Michael Lloyd Dino, Congresswoman of the 1st District of Ilo-ilo Dr. Janette Loreto-Garin, and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Felix Taguiam. 

Garcia thanked Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force against Covid-19 as well as Garin for their help in the realization of this project in Cebu.

“In behalf of the Province of Cebu and its 3.2 million constituents, allow me to express our deepest gratitude, first of all to Secretary Galvez for broaching the idea or the possibility of putting up hemodialysis machines for our non-Covid patients. I know that the many visits of Secretary Galvez to Cebu has somehow sparked the concern, and I may say so the fondness of Secretary Galvez for the Cebuanos,” she said.

She also expressed her appreciation to Fernan, her “treasured and valued friend” as SM Prime Holdings, Inc. offered a space within its premises for the installation of the DOH-HFEP Hemodialysis Units as part of their “public service endeavors during the pandemic.”

Under the MOA, the VSMMC shall operate the satellite hemodialysis center in SM Seaside, shoulder the operational costs, water and power utilities, as well as other dues not shouldered by SM, and deploy and assign health personnel as part of the manpower complement.

Cebu Province, for its part, shall transfer possession and allow the use of the 10 DOH-HFEP hemodialysis units to VSMMC for the operation of the satellite hemodialysis center. It shall maintain ownership and accountability of the equipment, and shoulder the costs of corrective/preventive maintenance and repairs of the hemodialysis units in case of breakdown.

If needed, the Capitol will deploy health personnel augmentation to complement the center's manpower. VSMMC will orient and train the said health personnel deployed by the Capitol.

Upon termination of the operation, possession of the dialysis units will be returned to the Province.

Aside from offering its space at SM Seaside, the SM Prime Holdings, Inc. shall also provide access to electricity and water sources, subject to the payment of the utility dues. Bills accrued for the operation of the satellite hemodialysis center shall be charged against VSMMC.

SM waived the rental fees and common area maintenance charges until December 31, 2020 or termination of the agreement, whichever comes first. 

The DOH will monitor the continued compliance of the satellite dialysis center with the pertinent regulatory and operational standards for dialysis centers and provide technical assistance.

The agreement is effective until December 31, 2020, unless revoked sooner or later with the consent of all parties. (Mylen Manto)