When a delegation from the University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society in America (UPMASA) visited President Danilo L. Concepcion on February 21 at the Board of Regents Room in Quezon Hall, UP Diliman, proposals of assistance for the improvement of facilities in the UP Los Baños Health Service or Infirmary, and support for the planned establishment of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in UP Diliman were discussed.
Concepcion expressed his desire to strengthen the UPLB Infirmary since it is the nearest government health facility in that part of Laguna that caters to thousands of patients, where minor surgical operations are also performed, especially for caesarean section (CS) births and other emergency cases. He lamented the worn out facilities for surgery, lack of equipment such as for CT scans, and limited accommodation for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients. The doctors from UPMASA offered to help upgrade UPLB’s operating room. Donation of an operating microscope was also mentioned.
Concepcion updated the delegation on the planned establishment of a PGH-Diliman which has already been started, with the Php 50 million feasibility study to be done by the end of July this year. This is projected to be a Php 6 billion project, a 1,400-bed hospital, comparable with the country’s most modernized hospitals. Two more UP hospitals are also to be built, one in Clark, Pampanga and one in Los Baños, Laguna.
Concepcion pledged to support and expand the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, the volunteer office of UP, to help students in provinces receive UP-quality education and for more people in marginalized areas to receive educational and medical services.
Dr. Eric S.M. Talens, director of the UP Manila Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, affirmed this by saying the office conducts at least one major mission every month, through a network of dedicated volunteers.
UPMASA members also discussed with Concepcion how UP can resolve the challenges they face in the process of sending donations from the US to UP. Concepcion said he will look into the issues involving these.
Concepcion was with Executive Vice President Teodoro J. Herbosa, Vice-President for Public Affairs Elena E. Pernia, and Atty. Gabriela Roldan-Concepcion. Talens was with fellow UPMASA members, namely: Val Dolorico, Gela Dolorico, Dulce Bautista Mangaser, Anacleto “Jun” Mangaser, Filo Dalope, Manny Dalope, Jean Dy, Manning Dy, Alex Faves, Anita Faves, Solita Canard, Mody Rivera, Manny Rivera, Ave Pino, Zeny Lat, Iman Lat, and Zacharias Asuncion.
UPMASA is comprised of graduates from the UP College of Medicine (UPCM) who have trained or worked in North America. It is one of the most outstanding organizations of UP alumni known for supporting UP Manila through scholarships, endowments, expertise, and conducting medical missions to marginalized communities in the Philippines. Recently, it supported the modernization of 500 beds and the needs of indigent patients of PGH, and raised funds for the construction of the new building and dormitory of UPCM in Manila.