UPGRADED MEDICAL CENTER. DOH Assistant Secretary Leonita Gorgolon (left), together with DOH-13 Director Cesar Cassion (right), and Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco Jose Matugas (2nd left), lead the turnover and blessing of the CT scan, molecular laboratory and isolation ward to the Siargao Island Medical Center (SIMC) on Thursday (June 8, 2023) in Dapa, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte. The equipment and facility were received by Dr. Chloe Digal (2nd right), SIMC chief of hospital. (Photo courtesy of DOH-13)

BUTUAN CITY – The Department of Health (DOH), with the support of the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), provided upgrades in the facilities and laboratory services of the Siargao Island Medical Center (SIMC).

The SIMC, situated in Dapa town, serves the constituents of the nine municipalities in Surigao del Norte that are situated on the island.

DOH Assistant Secretary Leonita Gorgolon joined DOH-13 (Caraga Region) Director Cesar Cassion, Surigao del Norte (1st District) Rep. Francisco Jose Matugas II, and representatives from the WB and ADB in the turnover of a computed tomography (CT) scan, a molecular laboratory and isolation ward to the SIMC.

“The molecular laboratory was funded under the Bayanihan II Project, the CT scan under the ADB Heal Project, and the isolation ward under the World Bank PCERP,” the DOH-13 said in a statement on Friday.

PCERP stands for the Philippines Covid-19 Emergency Response Project, a WB program  that aims to strengthen the country’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by the disease.

DOH-13 said the provision of additional equipment and facilities will help the SIMC provide comprehensive healthcare services in Siargao and the tourists visiting the island, including those infected with Covid-19.

Thursday’s activity also included the signing of the memorandum of agreement and deed of donation between Cassion and Dr. Chloe Digal, the SIMC chief of hospital.

In her message, Gorgolon said the upgrades at the SIMC stand proof of the government’s commitment to achieving universal healthcare to improve the lives of Filipinos through access to quality healthcare.

“These facilities will help residents of Siargao Island, especially those in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas who are experiencing difficulty in accessing health services,” she said. (PNA)