April 11, 2017 (Holy Monday), I had a cellphone call from a relative of a patient residing in Batangas City. Her sister-patient was in severe pain. The patient has recurrent widespread thyroid cancer and has been under my supervision for the past 14 years. Since the patient was too weak to travel to Manila for consult and for confinement and I may be out of the town during the Holy Week, I offered to refer the patient to a general surgeon that I know in Batangas City, Dr. Alex Palines, one of my former students in the Department of Surgery of the Philippine General Hospital. I don’t have the cellphone number of Dr. Palines. I advised the relative to go to Batangas Medical Center and looked for Dr. Palines. I said I would talk to Dr. Palines once she located him. In one hour’s time, I received another call from the relative of the patient saying she located Dr. Palines and was in front of her. She gave her cellphone to Dr. Palines and I was able to endorse the patient to Dr. Palines for pain management.
Last week of March 2017, a patient from Northern Leyte came all the way to Manila for treatment of her colonic cancer. She was a relative of another patient of mine. After her operation, she had to go back to Northern Leyte. I asked where exactly was she residing. She said Catarman. I told her I know of Dr. Otep Estanislao, one of my former students in the Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center. I advised her to see Dr. Estanislao for check-up so that she does not have to travel all the way to Manila to see me.
There has been a lot of similar situations in the past that I have patients coming from the provinces and whom I have to look for a surgeon or a physician in their areas of residence to do the continuity of care. Although majority would like to come back to me for continuity of care, for convenience and control of travel expense, I usually would look for and refer them to a surgeon or a physician whom I trust. (Note: I also have Filipino patients in Dubai, Bahrain, Jordan, etc. whom I like to refer to a local surgeon or physician for continuity of care. However, I don’t know of anybody as they are staying in foreign lands. I would end-up communicating with them and doing continuity of care through Facebook.)
To facilitate continuity of care of my patients in the provinces, I am going to create ROJoson Network of Physicians in the Philippines, initially focusing on general surgeons like me (eventually will include other specialties) and initially focusing on my former students now practicing in the provinces (eventually will include non-former students of mine but whom I think are qualified).
To jump start the list –
Batangas City – Dr. Alex Palines
Tanuan City – Dr. Vince Quinto
Naga City – Dr. Roberto Sarmiento
Naga City – Dr. Rommel M. Galicia
Cebu City – Dr. Stephen Siguan
Cebu City – Dr. Mark Yray
Cagayan de Oro
Cagayan de Oro – Dr. Jaime Lagunilla
Zamboanga City – Dr. Alex Cerrillo
Zamboanga City – Dr. Yasmin Dapit
Zamboanga City – Dr. Al-Radjit Jamiri
Zamboanga del Norte, Dipolog – Dr. Mark Anthony Marinas
Zamboanga del Sur, Pagadian City – Dr. Lucero