First kidney transplant by gov’t hospital in Region 1 performed in Pangasinan

By Venus H. Sarmiento

DAGUPAN CITY, Oct 3 (PIA) — A historic kidney transplant operation took place at the Region 1 Medical Center, this city, on Sunday making R1MC the first government-owned hospital in North Luzon to conduct the delicate operation.

In a press conference on Monday held to announce the success of the transplant operation, Center Chief Dr. Roland Joseph Mejia, expressed gratitude to the Department of Health and the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) as well as to the people of north Luzon for the support to the endeavor.

“We can assure you that this will be the beginning of the advancement of medical science,” Mejia said.

Govina Onrubia, 28, a nurse by profession, is the first transplant patient in the hospital. His cousin, Isagani Patungan, was her kidney donor. Mejia said since they are part of the history of R1MC in kidney transplant, they will be provided with free lifetime medical check-ups and treatments.

Dr. Adolfo Parayno, team leader of the transplant vascular team and consultant of NKTI, saId the patient is doing good and if no complications arise, Onrubia could be sent home after a week. A kidney transplant patient, however, could go back to work only after six months.

Nephrologist Abraham Coquia noted that the operation shows that R1MC has complete facilities and personnel to perform subsequent operations.

Dr. Antonio Paraiso, program manager of the Philippine Organ Donation and Transplant Program (PODTP) and the Philippine Network for Organ Sharing (Philnos), congratulated R1MC for being the leader in transplant operation.

“The Secretary (Enrique Ona) of the Department of Health selected this hospital to become the medical area in this center (north Luzon),” Paraiso said.

Mejia said the transplant operation for indigent patients will cost around P380,000. The same operation in a Manila hospital will cost around P900,000 to P1.5 million. This early, the center has received calls for transplant operation from as far as Cagayan.

“We are proud that this medical center from Pangasinan will be the first to cater to our patients who cannot afford treatments in Manila,” Mejia added.

Still on kidney disease treatment, Mejia also announced that with the acquisition of five more new dialysis machines, R1MC has a total of 20 dialysis equipment, making it the biggest dialysis center north of Manila. (ANL/VHS-PIA 1, Pangasinan)

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