Tuesday, 31 January 2012 10:44
The Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) Chief of Hospital revealed that the hospital’s Department of Radiation Oncology has temporarily stopped receiving new patients for Radiation Therapy effective January 24 while waiting for the arrival of the new cobalt source.
ZCMC Chief of Hospital Dr. Romeo Ong said in an interview, "El diatun cobalt source half life ya, necicita ya quita new source.” According to Ong, the hospital will just finish the treatment of the remaining eight old patients then by March 24, if the new cobalt source will not yet arrive, the hospital will temporarily stop receiving patients referred for Radiation Therapy.
Ong said through the efforts of Deputy Speaker for Mindanao and Zamboanga City District I Congresswoman Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, the Secretary of Health, Dr. Enrique Ona has already approved the purchase of the cobalt source for ZCMC.
The cobalt source coming from Canada, amounting to P16 Million, will be purchased by the DOH through their savings. He explained that the hospital has already prepared for the purchase of the new cobalt source earlier.
Aside from the high cost of the cobalt source, the transport of the radioactive materials is also not easy and will take time.
Ong explained that the cobalt machine is functioning well, only the cobalt source must be replaced which is now 10 years old.
The Radiation Therapy at ZCMC costs P400 per session and it is usually being done daily for one month. Radiation Therapy is commonly used as one of the methods to treat cervical, colon, rectal, and breast cancers. It is also possible that the new cobalt source will arrive in time for the completion of the new Department of Radiology and Oncology.
By R.G. A A. Go
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