President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. made a significant announcement on Tuesday as he launched the country’s first lung transplant program at the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) in Quezon City. This groundbreaking initiative, developed in collaboration with the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), aims to provide life-changing services to individuals suffering from irreversible lung diseases.
In his speech, President Marcos emphasized that healthcare is a commitment to the people, driven by a dedication to public service rather than personal or political agendas. He expressed his hope that the program at LCP, a hospital with a rich history of heroic work, would serve as a testament to the unwavering duty to serve the Filipino people.
The partnership between LCP and NKTI sets an example for other hospitals, demonstrating how pooling resources and sharing assets can enhance patient care and improve overall outcomes. President Marcos highlighted the maxim that “two heads — two hospitals — are better than one,” emphasizing the power of collaboration in advancing healthcare services.
The joint lung transplant program was initiated by NKTI and LCP on November 25, 2022, through a memorandum of agreement. The program aims to address various barriers, such as the lack of infrastructure, organ donation and allocation systems, limited access to trained personnel, and financial constraints.
To support the program’s objectives, the LCP’s infrastructure capacity is being improved. The 2024 General Appropriations Act and private sector donations have funded the renovation of the post-anesthesia care unit, costing P4.2 million, and the surgical intensive care unit, costing P1.8 million.
The need for such a program is evident from the records, which show that pneumonia and other respiratory diseases were among the top 20 causes of mortality from January to July 2023. Additionally, acute lower respiratory tract infections and tuberculosis remain prevalent causes of illness in the country.
President Marcos expressed confidence in the success of the LCP and NKTI’s joint efforts. The LCP, established in 1981 through Presidential Decree (PD) 1823, and the NKTI, a tertiary medical specialty center created in 1981 through PD 1832, share a grand vision of providing exceptional healthcare.
In addition to launching the lung transplant program, President Marcos pledged to rehabilitate the NKTI Annex building, which was damaged by fire in 1998. He acknowledged that there is work to be done to catch up but assured the public that his administration would do everything possible to address these challenges.
Looking ahead, President Marcos revealed plans to establish an additional 179 medical specialty centers before the end of his term. The government has already established 131 functional specialty centers nationwide, with nine dedicated to lung care.
The launch of the lung transplant program at LCP marks a significant milestone in the country’s healthcare landscape. President Marcos’s commitment to improving healthcare services and infrastructure demonstrates a dedication to the well-being of the Filipino people. Through collaboration and innovation, the LCP and NKTI are paving the way for better healthcare outcomes and offering hope to those in need of life-saving lung transplants.
Source: The Manila Times