CEBU CITY – To accommodate renal patients, the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and the Department of Health (DOH)-7 have opened a satellite dialysis center inside the SM Seaside City Cebu.
Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, chief of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, said during the ribbon-cutting on Friday the center is for the dialysis needs of patients afraid to go to hospitals here due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Usually, we have dialysis patients who are not keen on visiting hospitals in Cebu City because of the pandemic.
"With this one inside the SM Seaside, they have a comfortable and secured dialysis center,” Dino said.
He thanked Teresita Sy-Coson, vice-chair of SM Investment Corporations, for approving the request from the government to provide them with a space for the dialysis clinic.
Patients who will avail of the dialysis service at the center can avail of the benefits from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), he said.
“If needed, the remaining balance will be charged off the Malasakit Center and the special fund given by President (Rodrigo) Duterte and Senator (Christopher Lawrence) ‘Bong’ Go,” he added.
Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., VSMMC chief, said the regional hospital will temporarily run the dialysis center while the city and the provincial government are still organizing their teams that will run the center inside the mall.
He said the center will prioritize existing patients from the city and the province “who are non-Covid” and are seeking dialysis treatment at the VSMMC.
The center is located at the Wing Arcade, along the SM Supermarket area.
Dino, Mayor Edgardo Labella, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, SM Prime Holdings Inc. vice president and special assistant to the chairman of the executive committee Maria Eloisa Fernan, DOH-7 regional director Jaime Bernadas and Aquino attended the ribbon-cutting.
They also witnessed the virtual signing of the memorandum of agreement on Thursday.
In the MOA, SM agreed to provide 307-square meter space for the VSMMC’s dialysis center “free of rent and common area maintenance charges”.
The VSMMC, meanwhile, agreed to “shoulder the costs for the operation of the satellite hemodialysis center, including the payment of the utility dues”.
Labella and Garcia, who signed on behalf of their respective local government unit, agreed to shoulder the costs for maintenance and repairs of the hemodialysis machines in case of breakdown and deploy health personnel to augment the satellite dialysis center.
The city and the provincial government will maintain the ownership and accountability of the center’s hemodialysis units. (PNA)