Bajada, Davao City
August 10, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte graced the thanksgiving and open house of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) Cancer Institute at the SPMC Compound, Davao City.

The construction of the Cancer Center started on September 2014 and was completed on November 2016. The budget amounting to PhP 86,880,998 was through the General Appropriations Act Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 and an additional budget of PhP 8,688,099.80 came from the hospital income.

The SPMC Children’s Institute started as a room with four beds at the SPMC General Ward in 2014. By 2006, patients can be accommodated in a bigger room with ten beds. In 2010, a 25-bed Pediatric Oncology Unit was created at the Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Unit located at the inner half of the General Ward on the third floor of the hospital’s main building.

The East Wing of the Cancer Institute is the Children’s Cancer Center while the West Wing is the Adult Oncology Center and Radiotherapy Center.

Among the SPMC services available for children with cancer include basic therapeutics and diagnostics, as well as a wide range of care from promotive, curative, rehabilitative to palliative. The hospital also provides radiotherapy, brachytherapy and outpatient chemotherapy.

In the past, the Cancer Center had to spend between PhP 14,000 – PhP 16,000 once or twice a week to conduct tests for patients diagnosed with leukemia and lymphoma cases, and referred these to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City. At present, the tests could be done onsite and charged to PhilHealth.

With medical assistance from the Department of Health, Lingap, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), the SPMC is now able to provide funds for chemotherapy and diagnostics.

In his message, President Duterte expressed his gratitude to the personnel behind the realization of the Cancer Institute in SPMC. “I made it to be able to really make the regular visits I used to, hanggang Presidente ako and I’m very proud of the administration… kay doktora, kay doctor…” he said.

He also distributed gifts such as toys, milk, vitamins, and cash assistance to the cancer patients present in the thanksgiving event. Likewise, the President took time to personally talk to the cancer patients and gave them words of courage as they continue their treatment in the institute.

Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Herminigildo Valle, SPMC Medical Center Chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega and Cancer Institute Head Dr. Mae Concepcion Dolendo were present during the thanksgiving.

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