Doc pushes for stem cell transplant in potential medical tourism facilities

Sun Star Cebu | 2008-09-20

IF STAKEHOLDERS in the local medical tourism industry would work together, stem cell transplant operations can become a service that Cebu-based hospitals may offer.

Dr. Anselm Lee, a consultant pediatric hematologist based in Singapore’s East Shore Hospital, said there is always a possibility for hospitals in Cebu to invest in equipment and training for stem cell transplantation.

Lee said stem cell transplant in the United States is 50 percent more expensive compared to Singapore. But when the technology can be brought to the Philippines, Lee said it can cost even less.

East Shore Hospital is a member of the Singaporean-based Parkway Group Healthcare Pte. Ltd., which brought Lee to Cebu yesterday to talk about stem cell operation to 100 doctors based at Chong Hua Hospital (CHH).

"We keep up with knowledge and technology and share them. Teaching is the best way to learn," said Lee in a news conference after his lecture.

Lee was also impressed with CHH’s facilities and said the hospital is similar to hospitals in Singapore.

With the discovery of stem cell transplant operations and advancement in technology, Lee said cancer is no longer considered a “death sentence.”

"We now have a 75-percent success rate in curing cancer," he said.

The Parkway Group also encourages doctors in the country to coordinate with Parkway’s Manila office in offering options to patients who want to get treatment in Singapore.

Aside from East Shore, the Parkway Group also owns two other hospitals in Singapore—Gleneagles and Mount Elizabeth. (DME)



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