By JUNE S. BLANCO
IF MOHAMMED won’t come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed.
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd District made this resolve when, on his island sorties on inspection trips on the progress of implementation of his infrastructure projects built with counter-parting funds, he noticed several children and pregnant women needing medical attention.
This led to the launching on Friday, Sept. 8, of the A.R.I.S. Health or the Active and Responsive Initiative for Sustainable Health.
The parents and elders told Aumentado that while they needed treatment, they could not afford the trip to the mainland to seek medical help.
This prompted Aumentado to mobilize the sea ambulance procured for the District by his namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor former Governor and Congressman Erico Boyles Aumentado.
After ascertaining that the vessel was seaworthy, the solon organized a trip for around 100 mostly children and their mothers from Malingin Island of Bien Unido town to the Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital (DEDVMH) in Ubay town.
Aumentado said bringing a team of doctors, medicines and equipment to the island would be personnel and labor intensive. This would also require off-duty staff to render overtime services because on duty staff need to man the hospital at all times.
The solon expressed apprehension that the staff who just came off duty and required to render services for the mission will be exhausted when it will be time for their hospital duty again. He said tired staff are prone to human errors that might endanger the lives of hospital patients.
The Malingin islanders rode the sea ambulance to the Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital (DEDVMH) for consultation and were given the prescribed medicines all free of charge.
Aumentado thanked Dr. Elle and his staff and Mayor Constantino Reyes for their coordination and mobilization of their respective staff for the successful mission and launching of A.R.I.S. Health.
The patients were ferried back to Malingin on board the sea ambulance. The two-way trips were also free of charge.
“This is the least I can do for my islander-constituents needing medical attention,” Aumentado said.
Residents in all the other islands and islets in the district will have their trips scheduled in time as part of his health advocacy, he explained.
The patients need not spend for the trip or the medicines. They just need to bring their lunch, he added.
As part of his advocacy and tapping government funds, he intends to equip the DEDVMH with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment so that patients will no longer be forced to go to Cebu City or to private hospitals in Tagbilaran City as this would mean additional expenses.
Additionally, he intends to establish a dialysis center in the hospital with at least five dialysis machines. This will be a major improvement over the current dialysis unit, he concluded.