Ilocos Region

DOH opens first disease prevention and control center in Ilocos region

John Michael Mugas

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DOH opens first disease prevention and control center in Ilocos region

UNVEILING. Health and public officials unveil the newly-built and Ilocos region's first Center for Disease Prevention and Control in Dagupan City, Pangasinan on February 13.

Center for Health Development - Ilocos

The new Center for Disease Prevention and Control is built at the Region 1 Medical Center in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, and is funded through the Department of Health's Facility Enhancement Program

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte – The Department of Health (DOH) recently opened the very first Center for Disease Prevention and Control in Ilocos, a move seen to ramp up the region’s capability to predict and prepare against future disease outbreaks.

In a statement on Friday, February 16, Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire, undersecretary for the Universal Health Care-Health Services Cluster for Northern and Central Luzon, said the P20-million public health center would serve as a “pandemic preparedness center, which will help support in investigating, monitoring and preventing future diseases that may occur.”

It was built at the Region 1 Medical Center in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, and was funded through the DOH’s Facility Enhancement Program.

The most recent disease which wrought havoc in the country, including Ilocos, was COVID-19. It claimed the lives of at least 3,256 in the region, according to latest data from the COVID-19 tracker of the DOH.

According to Vergeire, the establishment of health specialty centers has been a “main thrust of the DOH [to] provide state-of-the-art medical services to the people in the province.”

She added the new facility would provide high-end diagnosis, treatment, and therapeutic services in the Ilocos region.

Aside from the center’s establishment, the DOH also held a groundbreaking ceremony on February 13 of a P49-million multipurpose building which would become a “center for cancer patients” in Pangasinan and across the region.

Regional director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco said the DOH would remain committed to developing the facilities and capabilities of public hospitals to provide quality health services to Filipinos.

Earlier on February 8, the DOH also broke ground for a multi-specialty center, an operating room complex, and patient wards’ building at the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center in La Union province.

“Once completed, it will be a place where the most dedicated and critical procedures will be performed by our medical specialists with precision and care,” said Sydiongco.

New medical school

On Saturday, the Presidential Communications Office announced President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed into law Republic Act No. 11978, which marked the establishment of the first college of medicine in La Union at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMSU) in Agoo town.

The medical school in DMMSU will “primarily offer a Doctor of Medicine Program, including an Integrated Liberal Arts and Medicine Program.”

It was eyed to strengthen the development of “a corps of professional physicians to strengthen the healthcare system of the country” and to “respond to the human resource development needs of the Provincial of La Union and the Ilocos region,” according to the Presidential Communications Office. –

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