More support comes the Navy’s way

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

After getting recently two naval vessels from the Japanese government, which is said to be “just the beginning” the Philippine Navy got another support from the SM Foundation Inc. with the donation of a newly-refurbished out-patient department of its Naval Station Hospital in Fort San Felipe, Cavite City.

 

As Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad told SMFI Executive Director Connie Angeles (for health and wellness) “I hope this is just the beginning of your support to us,” to which Angeles replied that SMFI would also take care of maintaining the facility provided the PN would also exert effort to keep it in good condition.

 

The Navy has an estimated strength of 24,000 active servicemen and sailors, including the 7,500 strong Philippine Marine Corps. It shares the responsibility of patrolling maritime borders with the Philippine Coast Guard, its former attached unit until the latter became a separate maritime agency in 1998.

 

The SM Foundation Inc. launched Wednesday the newly-renovated OPD of the Cavite Naval Hospital, its 135th health and wellness center to date and the 24th military health facility that it renovated throughout the country. The launch was keynoted by Empedrad.

 

The newly-renovated and refurbished facility will cater not just to the healthcare needs of the sailors and naval and civilian personnel but also to their dependents.

 

Angeles said “this is in keeping with our commitment to support our uniformed personnel for risking their lives and limb to ensure our protection and the safety of our country.”

 

The OPD, located at the back of the 94-bed naval hospital, accredited by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp and licensed by the Department of Health, caters to about 100 patients a day or 3,000 patients a month.

 

The renovated facility has clinics for: prenatal care, family planning menopause, well-baby, bone and joint, ophthalmology and ENT, diabetes, osteoporosis, physical therapy (rehabilitation medicine), DOTs anti-TB program of DoH, psychiatric evaluation/ management.

 

Medical specialties are: general surgery, anesthesiology, OB Gynecology, ENT (eye nose and throat)/otolaryngology, ophthalmology, orthopedics surgery and bone & joint, pediatrics, general and internal medicine, rehab medicine/physiotherapy, psychiatry and visiting consultations of urology and dermatology.

 

Ancillary and diagnostic services include laboratory (CBC hematology, urinalysis), blood chemistries, PAP smear; X-ray-Radiology and ultrasound, ECG and stress test, drug testing (DoH accredited).

 

Other services are emergency medical and surgical care of actually injured patients; dispatch medical and surgical teams as needed; conduct preventive medical activities; provide medical personnel to Philippine Navy Alert and Readiness teams and combat troops in operation areas; and provide disaster teams in various emergency situations.

 

The naval project is the first partnership between SMFI and the Makati Medical Center Foundation Inc., headed by Marge Macasaet Barro and Ideaspace headed by Butch Meily—both subsidiaries of the MVP Group of Companies. Both MMC and Ideaspace are providing the software to the naval hospital so that patients attended to by the facility will no longer undergo time-consuming routine tests before being given the appropriate treatment, as the software would already contain their medical histories.

 

The naval station hospital, the 8th Station Hospital of the AFP was created on Sept. 20, 1954 with initially 25- bed capacity that grew to 100 beds in 1986, is envisioned to provide comprehensive quality health care to ensure and conserve the fighting strength of the PN in particular and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in general.

 

Engr. Chito Macapagal, corporate affairs head and SMFI trustee, told reporters later that he would propose to the SMFI board putting up roofs and benches right outside the OPD for patients waiting for their turns to be attended to since not all of them could be contained inside at the same time.

 

Worth noting is that the one-story OPD facility has an indoor playhouse for children waiting to be checked, lots of comfort rooms and a ramp for wheelchairs so that getting inside it would not be difficult for patients on wheels or canes.

 

All these little details, Macapagal said, are meant to provide ease and comfort for those in pain or suffering from maladies.

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