THE P 120-MILLION Ormoc Doctors’ Hospital, the latest “baby” to the Cebu Doctors’ University chain of hospitals, had its ‘soft opening’ this morning, October 28, 2012, with founding chairman Dr. Pontenciano Larrazabal Jr. and wife Zeny leading the cutting of the ribbon.
Also present were former legislators Carmelo and Victoria Larrazabal-Locsin, actor Richard Gomez who is running for mayor of Ormoc and whose running mate Leo Carmelo Jr. is a scion of the Potenciano Larrazabal clan.
The hospital starts operation on November 15 yet, but practitioners are expected to do their outpatient consultations already at their clinics on the ground floor starting Monday, October 29.
To manage the new hospital is Dr. Roland Tomaro, a surgeon, as Ormoc Doc’s medical director. Taking care of the administrative aspect is Engr. Hilario Jake Cortes.
Ormoc Doctors’ Hospital is the first of the prestigious chain of the Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital (CDUH) to be built outside of Cebu Island. Rightly so, too, said Engr. Oscar A. Tuason, CDUH Administrator, because “Ormoc is Dr. Larrazabal’s hometown”.
He said that while the Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital chain is very well-known in the country and abroad, very few know that its owners are from Ormoc.
Now, he said, Dr. Poten Jr. and all the other founding doctors of CDUH are paying tribute to its beginnings by putting up the Ormoc Doctors’s Hospital. “This is where CDUH began”, he said.
The Ormoc Doctors’ Hospital initially starts operating with an 80-bed capacity, but it is full capacity are 200 beds. It has the latest medical equipments, Dr. Tomaro said, and will even offer nuclear medicine to cancer patients. It will have the first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in the region, meaning people in Leyte and Samar need no longer cross to Cebu to avail of such service.
On the planning board is also a modern blood bank, where a donor can only donate platelets if he wants to, and get his red blood cells back. The CDUH founding doctors are keenly studying the prospect, considering that Ormoc posted the highest incidence of dengue in the region for 2012, hence there is a felt need.
Tuason, who said he witnessed the beginnings of the CDUH chain, related that it started from the dreams of a group of doctors to have their “own” hospital.
Dr. Pek Eng Lim, one of CDUH’s core group of doctors, alluded that they dreamed of a hospital that can offer the quality medical service they need, as they go about their practice. They dreamed of a hospital that would grow as their knowledge, wisdom and experience grew through the years. The CDUH has become that hospital, he said, as it continues to reinvent itself and invests in modern equipment that has elevated medicine from the previous guesswork based on symptoms to the more exact science it is now. The MRI alone, he illustrated, gives doctors a more detailed look of the insides of the human being, which makes it easy for them to pinpoint the cause of the disease.
That dream, however, only saw reality when Dr. Poten Larrazabal Jr. arrived from the US after taking up his specialization, and convinced his father to invest in it. Together with the “dreamers”, Don Potenciano Larrazabal Sr. invested in his son’s vision and CDUH was born.
In his short talk before the invited guests in today’s blessing, Dr. Potenciano Larrazabal Jr. told doctors present that like the original CDUH, which has spawned many siblings already, the Ormoc Doctors’ Hospital follows the same principle of “getting everybody involved”.
Doctors who want to practice at the Ormoc Doc should be stockholders of the hospital, it was learned. This was to give them a sense of belonging and ownership and the drive to make it succeed. Dr. Larrazabal Jr., however, told the doctor-stockholders to be patient, because it will take two to four years “gestation period” before the hospital makes money “It’s like having a child”, he said.
More importantly, he told the doctor-owners to keep communications line open and “talk to each other and get things done to bring Ormoc the service it deserves”. He also promised that because his home city now has Ormoc Doc, he will be coming home often.
He said that as Ormoc Doctors’ Hospital goes through its birthing pains, the more seasoned CDUH and its siblings will be there to nurture it and provide whatever it needs.
“We’ve brought the hospital here to Ormoc already. Everything that is in Cebu Doc will be here at Ormoc Doc”, Engr. Tuason assured. By Lalaine M. Jimenea