The Health Exemplars
A published author, a host of a radio program, and the brain behind the Mobile Surgical Unit, Dr. Juan Dela Peña Sanchez, Jr. has transformed lives through surgical-medical missions, performing various types of surgeries for free
By Ma. Vanessa L. Estinozo
In far-flung areas, where families are in dire need of medical help, it takes hours even days to reach the nearest health center. Unfortunately, most government rural health facilities are quite short on medical supplies and many also lack physicians who can render the needed services.
Motivated to serve the underserved and help to fill in the huge healthcare gap, Dr. Juan Dela Peña Sanchez, Jr. a cosmetic surgeon by training, has taken it upon himself to help indigent patients through his medical and surgical missions all over the country. Consistently doing these missions month after month for more than 10 years now, he and his fellow volunteers have helped transform the lives of thousands of marginalized Filipinos.
In each mission, they do mostly surgical procedures, aside from medical consultations. They also make sure that counseling on healthy lifestyle practices is done to prevent prevalent medical problems.
Dr. Sanchez is a household name in the medical field. Aside from his surgical missions, he has made his name through his notable published books such as the Oriental Rhinoplasty; Local and Regional Anesthetic Blocks Made Simple; Doctor’s Practice, Strategies and Guides to Success; Asian Rhinoplasty; Nerve Blocks Made Simple; First Aid for Everyone; and No to Cancer No to Heart Attack, Control Diabetes, B W-Healthy, among others.
Mobile Surgical Unit
Dr. Sanchez joined the Rotary Club of SFDM (San Francisco, Del Monte) RI 3780, Quezon City, in 2007, and founded the Mobile Surgical Unit (MSU) van, providing medical-surgical services for indigent patients in areas where there is inadequate surgical care and facility.
To date, more than 10,000 indigent patients with soft tissue tumors, hernia, cleft lip, goiter, and other surgical indications have been operated on by the tireless MSU team in various parts of the country.
The MSU was developed by Dr. Sanchez as a joint project with the Rotary Club SFDM, since then he has been traveling around doing surgical missions two to four times a month. They have gone to as far as General Santos City, Catanduanes, and Aurora Province to provide free medical-surgical services.
Dr. Sanchez also hosts his radio program “Para sa First Aid, iTextmosi Doc” on DZXL 558 from Monday to Friday with live streaming at www.rmnnews.com/tv to give free medical advice on various medical problems and counseling on healthy lifestyle practices.
RP Healthcraft Carrier
When hit by natural or man-made disasters, which we have a lot of in our country, the people often run to the hospital for immediate relief, but when a calamity destroys the health facilities that are supposed to aid the residents, people could not help but feel hopeless. With the MSU, Dr. Sanchez aims to give aid to the urgent medical needs of the victims during times of natural disasters.
Soon, he will launch the RP Healthcraft Carrier, which will be the Philippines’ first ‘hospital on wheels’ which will serve as a makeshift medical facility in times of natural or man-made disasters. This will also act as a secondary hospital to improve existing medical facilities in far-flung communities.
At a normal rate, the Healthcraft can cater to 50 to 70 surgical cases per trip, but it can expand its operations up to 250 cases, depending on the number of days it spends on the calamity area.
One of its main objectives is to bring the needed healthcare to the people instead of the sick or injured people going elsewhere to seek treatment. Dr. Sanchez added that with the RP Healthcraft Carrier, this will help the government hospitals reduce their load and the overcrowding of patients.
“Telemedicine” will be added in the operations where senior consultants can view the patient’s case through Internet, and guide junior consultants wherever they may be. This will be the most practical way and will give an opportunity for senior physicians based in Manila or out of the country to contribute their share. The Healthcraft carrier will have the equipments to do X-ray, ultrasound, 2D echo, CT scan, and the images and studies will be transmitted to a remote specialist through the Internet.
The plan for the RP Healthcraft Carrier has been completed already up to the last detail, but it will not progress beyond its prototype unless the government sees its potential and agrees to fund its implementation and operations.
Despite all the challenges, Dr. Sanchez remains steadfast in his commitment to provide quality health services for free to the least of our brethren.
“The plan for the RP Healthcraft Carrier has been completed already up to the last detail, but it will not progress beyond its prototype unless the government sees its potential and agrees to fund its implementation and operations.”
March 2017 Health and Lifestyle