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Mediatrix Hospital offers world-class cardiovascular care

The cost of hospitalization may be the primary concern for many Filipino patients and their family, but it is not the only consideration. The distance from the patient’s residence to the hospital can have a significant impact on healthcare cost, compliance to follow-up care and, ultimately, treatment outcomes.

A study done in the United Kingdom found that “increased journey distance to hospital appears to be associated with increased risk of mortality” regardless of patient’s age, gender or disease severity. A US study revealed that patients traveling long distances to the hospital use more resources and incur higher hospital charges than patients residing in the hospital’s environs.

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Addressing an unmet need

As early as the 1960s, Dr. Vicente L. Magsino Sr. realized that patients residing in Batangas and other Southern Tagalog provinces faced the same problem. Concerned with the increasing number of heart disease cases and cardiovascular disease-related deaths in the region, Magsino together with distinguished cardiologist Dr. Homobono B. Calleja advocated for the establishment of a world-class cardiovascular facility in Batangas so that patients from Southern Tagalog need not take the long trip to Metro Manila for treatment.

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“The vision of our late president has been fulfilled,” Dr. Robert M. Magsino said.

Magsino is the current president and medical director of the Mary Mediatrix Medical Center, a 150-bed tertiary level 4 hospital in Lipa City, Batangas. Magsino is also the son of MMMC’s founding president.

The Mediatrix Heart Institute, the first health facility in Region 4 to offer the complete range of adult and pediatric cardiovascular services, was formally launched on July 20, coinciding with MMMC’s 53rd founding anniversary. Health Secretary Dr. Enrique T. Ona and PhilHealth president and CEO Dr. Rey B. Aquino were among the guests.

Share common goal

MHI is a product of the collaboration between MMMC and the HB Calleja National Heart Institutes, an organization of medical centers across the country that share a common goal of addressing the unmet needs of patients in the provinces requiring specialized cardiovascular care.

“As of mid-2010, only three medical centers located in three major cities around the Philippines have the capability to perform intensive cardiovascular procedures such as cardiac catheterization and open-heart surgery. Our goal is to bridge the wide gap in accessibility and affordability of such procedures in the country, explained Calleja, NHI president and member of the MMMC board of directors.

“We are privileged to work with Dr. Calleja in bringing highly trained cardiovascular specialists and state-of-the-art equipment closer to patients in Region 4,” Magsino said.

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World-class facility

With its top-of-the-line GE Innova IQ 2100, MHI’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab) enables its multidisciplinary team of experts to perform interventional cardiology, interventional radiology and endovascular neurosurgery procedures. These include angiogram (X-ray of the heart’s arteries using a special dye) and angioplasty (insertion of a small balloon to widen a blocked artery in the heart).

At the state-of-the-art Cardiovascular Operating Room the surgical team can, among others, perform heart bypass and repair damaged heart valves on both adult and pediatric patients. Patients who have just undergone procedures at the Cath Lab and CVOR are wheeled into the glass-walled Recovery Room (RR). Located in front of the Nurses’ Station for close monitoring of post-operative complications, the RR is equipped with advanced monitoring equipment, mood lighting and a built-in security camera that provides live video feeds to the Nurses’ Station.

The 7-bed Coronary Care Unit (CCU) is where patients with life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks, unstable angina (chest discomfort/pain), dysrhythmia (irregular heart rate) as well as patients who underwent a Cath Lab or CVOR procedure receive round-the-clock care and rigorous monitoring.

MHI is led by respected cardiologists Romulo Rosita (director) and Joselito Ramos (assistant director). The MHI team is composed of seasoned and renowned cardiovascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, adult and pediatric cardiologists, cardiac anesthesiologists, and highly trained nurses.

MHI is committed to enhancing the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases in the region as well as improve patient compliance, Magsino said. “MHI has topnotch experts and the latest technology to provide accurate diagnosis and advanced treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Because MHI is relatively near to our patients’ residence, follow-up care is more convenient for patients and their family.”

(A native of Lipa City, Batangas, the author is the director for Corporate Affairs and Market Access of Novartis Healthcare Philippines. One of the key advocacies of Novartis is enhancing Filipinos’ access to quality healthcare.)

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