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Tondo Medical Center (Tondo Med)

Public Governance Forum highlights public health innovations; Tondo Med wins Gold Trailblazer Award

By: Victor Baldemor Ruiz

Government hospitals Tondo Medical Center (Tondo Med) and Southern Isabela Medical Center (SIMC) showcased their transformative breakthroughs at the Public Governance Forum (PGF) on June 19, highlighting achievements in Philippine healthcare.

Led by non-profit governance reform organization Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), the PGF is a recognition program where public institutions present their progress and milestones along the Performance Governance System (PGS), ISA’s good governance program, giving insight into the growth of the public sector in providing quality service to the Filipino people.

Gathering nearly a hundred attendees from 10 public institutions at the B Hotel in Quezon City, the event featured the two Department of Health (DOH) hospitals presenting their impact reports during the Public Revalida, a democratic exercise that validates the successful completion of the four stages of the PGS. Public organizations, including the DOH, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Department of Trade and Industry, have actively engaged with and successfully completed the pathway.

Tondo Med and SIMC started their PGS journeys in 2018 and 2022, respectively, earning consecutive Gold Trailblazer Awards for each stage achieved since. Vying for the third stage of ISA’s four-stage governance pathway, Tondo Med Medical Center Chief Dr. Maria Isabelita Maligaya-Estrella presented the hospital’s breakthroughs and challenges in achieving its strategic position of becoming a 300-bed apex hospital with advanced capabilities in dermatology and comprehensive care in trauma, burn, and geriatric care by 2025.

Due to Tondo’s notoriety for trauma cases and post-pandemic census of nearly 17,000 trauma patients in 2023, Tondo Med has become well-known for its care of patients involved in vehicular and other trauma incidents, urging them to improve their services and infrastructures further.

“The Trauma Center building is already at 73.59%. Our specialists are regarded as experts in their respective fields and are instrumental in molding the new generation of doctors. The nurses were also sent to trauma-related nursing certification programs to improve their skills, while the anesthesiologists also underwent training to complement the trauma surgeons,” Dr. Maligaya-Estrella said.

Meanwhile, SIMC’s journey toward achieving Compliant status, the second stage of the PGS pathway, was presented by its Medical Center Chief, Dr. Melchor Dela Cruz, Jr. Positioned to become a 500-bed Multi-Specialty Apex Hospital serving Isabela, Northern Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Northern Ifugao, and Eastern Mountain Province, the hospital has reported improvements in its specialty centers such as dermatology, geriatric care, eye care, and cancer care.

Additionally, as part of the usufruct agreement with Isabela State University, Dr. Dela Cruz also reported the acquisition of land dedicated to SIMC’s Bagong Urgent Care and Ambulatory Service (BUCAS) Center, multispecialty facility, and other prioritized hospital projects, to help meet the growing healthcare demands in the region.

The accomplishments of the presenting organizations did not go unnoticed by the panelists, which included Dr. Glory Baltazar, Panel Chair and Medical Center Chief of Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center; ISA Fellow Ms. Maria Linda Buhat; Director IV of the UHC Health Services – Technical Office of DOH, Dir. Frances Rose Mamaril; Dr. Orlando Ocampo, Chief of the Philippine General Hospital – Division of Trauma Surgery; Dr. Jose Leo Jiloca, Board of Director of the Philippine Society of Geriatrics & Gerontology; Dr. Francisco DC. Rivera, Former President of the Philippine Dermatological Society; and Atty. Bu Castro, Director of the Philippine Hospital Association.

SIMC achieved PGS Compliant status while Tondo Med attained Proficient status, both receiving the prestigious Gold Trailblazer Award. Upon receiving these accolades, the medical center chiefs expressed gratitude to their respective staff and ISA.

“I think we have learned so much and we will continue working with each other,” Dr. Melchor Dela Cruz said in his acceptance speech.

“Everybody did their part. I just did my part. And this is for Tondo Medical Center,” Dr. Maligaya-Estrella said.

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