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Siargao LGU working to put up trauma center in surfing area


The local government of Siargao said it has already started working to put up a trauma center following criticism over their lack of medical facilities.

According to a report by GMA News' Raffy Tima on Unang Balita on Friday, the trauma center will be built in the municipality of General Luna, where the concentration of surfers and tourists is found.

The local government bared its plans after Filipino supermodel Kelsey Merritt lamented the lack of medical facilities when her boyfriend Olympic gold medalist Conor Dwyer sustained a head injury while surfing there.

The Victoria's Secret model's Instagram story showed how they had to board a boat to get Dwyer to a clinic.

General Luna has no hospital but has a rural health unit and a private clinic.

There are also four district hospitals, but they function as infirmaries because there are no specialists that can perform any major surgery.

But even before the accident, the local government had already started planning to build the trauma center, the report said.

On top of the surfing-related injuries, there are also incidents of motorcycle accidents in the island.

Siargao government also plans to erect a district hospital in the municipality of Dapa.

This will practice "telemedicine," in which specialists from tertiary hospitals, and specialists from other countries can see patients through a video link.

Since no specialists in Siargao's infirmary hospitals, this practice would allow experts to recommend medical evaluation without moving the patient.

For long term medical care, Siargao is eyeing the Cuban model health care, where the basic concept is preventive medicine.

This is effective in Cuba despite the country's lack of resources, the report said.

In the meantime, Siargao's medical doctors have been augmented by doctors from hospitals in Surigao del Norte, Cebu, and Davao.

The certified surfing instructors are also required to have knowledge in basic life support, and they are equipped with first aid kits. — Jessica Bartolome/RSJ, GMA News

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