Dr. Julius Drilon of CLMMRH

The first successful kidney transplant in Bacolod City was undertaken at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) last August 25, 2017.

The successful operation was announced by CLMMRH Medical Center Head Dr. Julius Drilon. The transplant of the kidney to a 39 year old male recipient took 4 hours. The donor was a 42 year old female.

The operation was classified as a “subsidized” procedure since CLMMRH shouldered part of the patient’s medical expenses and that included medical and professional fees. 

“For us, this first successful kidney transplant will have a lot of impact to the community because we want to prove that we are already capable and competent in doing serious medical operations,” Drilon said, adding that “it is part of the hospital's measures to address the general concerns of the community we serve.”

Bacolod has at least 1,000 patients that are potential candidates for kidney transplants. Nationwide, only about 1,600 kidney transplants were undertaken compared to a waiting list of 40,000.

The cost of a kidney transplant in Manila ranges from 1.2 to 1.5 million per procedure. But in a state-operated hospital such as CLMMRH it was considered lesser in cost. The hospital is also applying for accreditation with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for the provision of Z Package benefits that will provide Php600,000 in subsidies for renal transplants according to Dr. Rose Marie Liquete, Executive Director of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI).

The cost of the procedure is considered to be high due to the involvement of 2 patients, the donor, and the recipient, respectively. Anti-rejection medicine also adds to the cost of the procedure.

“Through a good donor recruitment program, we hope to line-up more patients availing our kidney transplant services soon,” he said. The CLMMRH, in the next couple of years, will also start conducting cardiovascular surgery, Drilon added.

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