The Bicol Medical Center – Organ Procurement Organization (BMC – OPO) is a DOH accredited organization that is responsible for the evaluation and procurement of deceased organ donors for organ transplantation within the Bicol Region. There are 6 similar organizations in the Philippines, each responsible for organ procurement in a specific region, and all of which were founded and are overseen by the Philippine Network for Organ Sharing (PhilNOS).  Each OPO is allotted a budget of P3, 000, 000 for its creation and establishment. It represents the front-line of organ procurement, having immediate contact with the hospital and the family of the deceased donors.  As soon as the OPO obtains the consent for organ donation from the potential donor’s legal next-of-kin, it coordinates with PhilNOS to identify the best recipients for the procured organs.

In February of 2013, the BMC – OPO was officially created by our Medical Center Chief Dr. Efren Sj. Nerva, with Dr. Freddie Sy as Chairman, Dr. Francisco Sales III and Dr. Rizalina Ramos as Members, and Ms. Rosette Balce as Transplant Coordinator. The BMC-OPO had begun its operation and implementation, having the objectives of saving and enhancing lives, advocating awareness, and promoting deceased organ donation.  After nearly a year of being active, the organization had already carried out 9 organ retrievals in which kidneys were successfully transplanted at various hospitals within Metro Manila such as the NKTI, the Makati Medical Center, and the Medical City. In order to keep up with this growing number of organ donors, the BMC-OPO has appointed another Transplant Coordinator, Ms. Honeeleanne Borromeo.

As of the moment, the BMC-OPO has taken the initial step in establishing its own Transplant Center.  Dr. Fiona Zaragosa, an Anesthesiology Consultant, has joined the transplant team and is arranged to take a formal training at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, along with the Clinical Transplant Coordinator. This move intends to expedite the organization’s preparedness for its accreditation. Furthermore, Francisco Honorato Osio, a graduate of the BMC Surgical Training Program, is set to undergo his fellowship training in Transplant Surgery at the same institution.

To fully realize its vision as an accomplished transplant center, the BMC-OPO aims to manage the entirety of organ donation and transplantation needs within the region. Once again, the Bicol Medical Center shall affirm its label as the Premier Medical Center of the Bicol region.

By: Rosette Balce,RN
(BMC- OPO Transplant Coordinator)