Ph’s first minimally invasive surgical training center

PPP for gov’t surgeons’ training on lap and endoscopy proposed


THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (DOH) is proposing a public-private partnership the newly unveiled Philippine Center for Advanced Surgery (PCAS) launched at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC).

DOH Undersecretary Ted Herbosa has expressed interest in partnering with the Metro Pacific Investment Corporation (MPIC)-owned training center to train government- employed doctors and nurses on minimally invasive surgeries such as laparoscopy and endoscopy.

This is also to reduce open surgeries incidences in the country and the cost of sending a government doctor to train on laparoscopic surgery procedures.

According to Usec. Herbosa, we really need a center like this for advanced laparoscopic minimally invasive surgery and this public-private partnership will develop and improve minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in the Philippines.

“The government does not have to build a center like this. I just send surgeons here to train so they can practice and I just buy state-of-the-art modern machines,” said Usec. Herbosa at the launch of the center.

He explained that the cost of training a surgeon outside of the country can cost four to five times more than if they were trained in local facilities.

Last year, Usec. Herbosa said that the government bought about 16-17 laparoscopic
surgical machines to be distributed to 17 different DOH hospitals.

However, these machines will be useless if the DOH does not have a surgeon who knows how to use and operate them and who are accredited by the Philippine College of Surgeons and the Philippine Society of General Surgery.

Reducing open surgeries

Dr. Alfred Allen Buenafe, executive director of the MIS training center said that in PhilHealth, more than 80 percent of surgeries are still being done as open surgery when it could have been done it via MIS.

“If you look at the scientific papers on gallbladder surgery, it says that it can now be done through laparoscopic surgery. So why are you doing all these surgeries when you have minimally invasive surgery?” Dr. Buenafe said

PCAS is the first of its kind in the country that houses MIS facilities as well as the country’s first MIS-dedicated wet and dry skills laboratories, training rooms, and a 146-seater auditorium.

MIS was first conducted in the Philippines in 1990, but it did not flourish as was needed, because it required technology and technology required money.

“At that time, I think a lot of surgeons went abroad for their training for bigger costs. The effect was that when they get back, since there were few laparoscopic surgeons, the fees were higher,” said Usec. Herbosa.

The center is open to train not only doctors based in the Philippines, but also from abroad.

“The MIS center will be training consultants and residents in surgery to learn MIS procedures in a minimalistic manner,” said Dr. Pilar Nenuca Almira, president and CEO of the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.

Specialty nurses can also be trained on the new techniques on open surgeries to help in their own practice.

Nationwide-worldwide reach

The center houses a dry lab for virtual simulation, a skills lab for surgical practice on live animals, a lecture room for 60 students, and auditorium that can seat 142 attendees.

The auditorium will house live surgery transmissions from the main hospital’s operating room during MIS trainings using high-definition bi-directional video conference.

A proposed partnership with MPIC’s sister company, PLDT, on the transmission of live operations to different parts of the country like Davao, Subic, Manila, and Cebu for MIS trainings.

Officials are also in talks about the possible transmission MIS trainings in PCAS to other parts of the world.

VitalSigns Issue 64 Vol. 3, June 1-30, 2014

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