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More pulmonary health patients to benefit from the National Lung Transplant Program

Patients of the Lung Center of the Philippines join the momentous occassion following the launch of the National Lung Transplant Program. (Photo Courtesy: PCO)

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- The Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) on Tuesday, January 23, launched the country’s first National Lung Transplant Program for pulmonary health patients. 

The joint initiative launch, graced by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., aims to develop a responsive lung transplant manual that will address gaps in organ donation and allocation system, as well as healthcare infrastructure and personnel. 

This leads to the ultimate goal of providing accessible and affordable lung transplantation services for Filipinos suffering from severe lung diseases such as lung cancer, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, among others. 

It also anchors the full restoration of the LCP to improve its infrastructure capacity and medical facility which were seriously affected by the 1998 fire incident that gutted down a substantial portion of the building. 

The initial reconstruction covers the renovation of the post-anesthesia care unit and surgical intensive care unit of the LCP that will be both funded through the approved 2024 national budget or the General Appropriations Act (GAA) under the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP). 

For his part, President Marcos stressed the importance of prioritizing the strengthening of the national healthcare system to effectively cater to the needs of Filipinos in terms of healthcare services. 

“Let us remember that healthcare is our covenant with the people, a public commitment driven by neither political agenda nor personal legacy projects. In this hospital where heroes walked and worked, may this program be a testament to our unwavering duty to serve the Filipinos,” said Marcos during the ceremonial launching of the National Lung Transplant Program. 

PBBM graces the ceremonial launching of the National Lung Transplant Program. (Screengrab/RTVM)

By 2028, the national government is projected to establish a total of 179 medical specialty centers. Seven (7) of these will serve as dedicated lung care centers as part of the implementation of the Republic Act (RA) No. 11959 or the “Regional Speciality Centers Act.” 

The said law was approved by President Marcos in August 2023 to provide for the establishment of specialty centers in hospitals under the Department of Health (DOH) in every region across the country. This seeks to eliminate the physical barriers to the delivery of essential healthcare services, particularly in geographically-disadvantaged areas. 

Meanwhile, Marcos ensured that the government will continue to bolster the healthcare workforce through the Clinical Care Associates (CCAs) upskilling program of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). 

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It can be recalled that the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) has an allocation of P18 billion to support the deployment of healthcare workers in remote areas. This also includes capacity-building programs to equip them with the necessary skills to provide promotive and curative services. (JMP/PIA-NCR) 

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Janna Marie Pineda

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