February 18, 2009 05:55 PM Wednesday [ journal.com .ph ]
By: Jess V. Antiporda
THE Philippine Heart Center needs additional funding from Congress to save the lives of hundreds of indigents suffering from heart disease.
According to Dr. Ludgerio Torres, PHC director, there are more people dying just from waiting for their turn to undergo surgery than those who die while undergoing surgery.
He said out of the 800 indigent patients who need surgery, 40 percent die while waiting for their operation.
“There are less than two percent of heart patients who die while undergoing heart surgery,” Torres told the Kapihan ng Bayan Forum in Sulo Hotel.
The PHC has an annual budget of P150 million. A single open heart surgery costs around P300,000. The hospital shoulders the operation cost of qualified indigents.
he PHC is the only government hospital capable of performing heart surgery, thus the long queue of indigents wanting to have surgery.
To somehow ease the backlog, Torres said, they have started going around the country convincing other hospitals to offer heart surgery so that indigents in their area would not need to go to Manila for an operation.
“We are willing to help other medical institutions nationwide regarding heart surgery which is as ordinary as appendectomy (the surgical removal of the vermiform appendix),” he added.