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First heart institute in Lanao Sur ready to serve patients

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)—The Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) inaugurated on August 11, the first Heart Institute in Lanao del Sur province to advance the delivery of cardiovascular care services to patients with heart problems.

The heart institute has various facilities and equipment such as a cardiovascular operating room capable of open and closed heart surgeries, peripheral vascular surgery, open central vascular surgery/aortic surgery, and open endovenous surgery; a wall-mounted catheterization laboratory machine, an advanced heart-lung machine, an intra-aortic balloon pump, and other equipment needed for cardiovascular procedures. 

It will also serve as a regional referral center by collaborating with peripheral healthcare facilities to improve the healthcare system and enhance its capacity to manage complex cardiac cases. 

Dr. Shalimar Sani Rakiin, APMC Medical Center chief, said the establishment of a heart institute has long been planned and dreamed of but faced a delay due to unprecedented challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is proud and grateful that despite the challenges, they remained steadfast to the mission of becoming a regional heart center with the newly inaugurated heart institute.

APMC is a Level III teaching-training hospital with residency training programs for Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Anesthesiology. It was designated to establish nine primary comprehensive specialty centers, including a cardiovascular care (heart) center, under Department of Health (DOH) Order No. 2021-0001.

“Indeed, this milestone will surely close the gap between the sick and the hospital, both in terms of distance and cost, as we are all aware that specialized cardiac care is costly and not accessible to patients living outside Metro Manila. With the APMC regional heart center, patients from our rural areas don't need to travel to Manila and spend so much for treatment on cardiac cases," she said.

Rakiin conveyed her appreciation to all stakeholders for their continuous support to the APMC, especially the Department of Health (DOH) for helping them establish the heart institute and to the King Salman Foundation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for heart institute building donation.

Doctors tour the newly inaugurated Amai Pakpak Medical Center Heart Institute. They also check the advanced equipment and machines of the facility. (JND/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

Regionalizing health care

The establishment of APMC Heart Institute is in line with the thrust of Universal Health Care and part of the mandate of the DOH to explore the regionalization of health care.

The Philippine Heart Center (PHC) led the first cardiovascular surgical mission at APMC in 2021 to expedite the adoption of APMC as a regional heart center.

The initiative of the PHC for their 2012 Performance Governance System is to decentralize cardiovascular care and increase access to such services in the regions.

With the opening of the heart institute, PHC Executive Director Dr. Joel Abanilla congratulated the APMC on its achievements over the years. He said that working together for a common goal made the attainment of their mission easier and lighter. (JND/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur

Amai Pakpak Medical Center ChiefDr. Shalimar Sani Rakiin pause for a photo op during the inauguration and ribbon cutting of the new heart institute in Amai Pakpak Medical Center (JND/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

About the Author

Apipa Bagumbaran

Assistant Regional Head

Region 10

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