DAP-funded stem cell research a wrong priority

From the perspective of a community physician, the stem cell research, at this point, is not a priority. Given the daunting task of not only curing the present crop of diseases but also preventing them, and of course, building the human resource as the backbone of the health care system these should be the priority. Joseph Carabeo, convenor, Rx Abolish Pork Barrel Movement

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL Bulatlat.com

MANILA Eleazar Sobinsky, president of the Lung Center of the Philippines Employees Association-Alliance of Health Workers cannot decipher how the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) has helped the poor. Of the P115 million ($263,822) DAP funds received by LCP, P70 million ($160,587) was spent for the stem cell research project and the rest was spent for the procurement of equipment.

He said if the DAP has helped the poor, why are there more indigent patients waiting in line at the LCPs out-patient department?

Joseph Carabeo, convenor of the Rx Abolish Pork Barrel Movement and a community doctor for the past 28 years, said that the stem cell research project does not even help solve the longtime health problems of Filipinos.

The stem cell research in LCP is a mispriority, said Carabeo in an interview with Bulatlat.com. There are many problems in the health sector that has to be addressed. We think, the DOH is merely riding the bandwagon on the stem cell research intervention in health care, wellness and primarily rejuvenation, Carabeo said.

Eleazar Sobinsky, union president of the Lung Center Employees Union said if the DAP has helped the poor, why are there more indigent patients waiting in line at the LCPs out-patient department? (Photo by A. Umil/ Bulatlat.com)

Stem cells according to http://www.stemcellnetwork.ca are the precursors of all cells in the human body.

Stem cells are very special, powerful cells found in both humans and non-human animals. They have been called the centerpiece of regenerative medicine medicine that involves growing new cells, tissues and organs to replace or repair those damaged by injury, disease or aging, the website said.

In the Philippines, Carabeo said, the medical community is not even united in the use of stem cell therapy in curing diseases. He said it is still under research in the Philippines. The Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (PSEM) for one has even warned the public on the use of stem cell therapy as treatment for diabetes.

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DAP-funded stem cell research a wrong priority

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