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MAASIN CITY (PIA) -- At least 23 individuals are slated to undergo surgery during a free medical and surgical mission initiated by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Cebu Chapter, in partnership with IBP-Southern Leyte, starting today, Friday, until Sunday, September 9-11.

The surgery and the mission will be held at the old site of the Salvacion Oppus Yñiguez Provincial Hospital (SOYMPH) in Brgy. Mantahan, inasmuch as the Brgy. Dongon site has been undergoing major repair after last year’s Typhoon Odette.

Dr. Romeo Dax Roa, who assumed at SOYMPH medical center chief only last August 15, said in an interview at his office Thursday, Sept. 8, that eight (8) of the 23 patients were already admitted, having satisfied the pre-screening process including the mandatory RT-PCR swab test.

He hoped all the 23 patients, mostly from the city and other towns of the province, can be in prior to the start of today’s operations.

Surgical services included herniorrhaphy, thyroidectomy, cholecystectomy, removal of cyst, and even circumcision.

Asked how come the group of lawyer from Cebu selected the province in their free medical, surgical mission -- including free legal services tomorrow, Saturday, September 10 -- Dr. Roa said this was part of their Balik-Probinsiya program.

Besides, most of the physicians joining the mission have their roots from Southern Leyte, Dr Roa added. (MMP/PIA S. Leyte with report from Dahlia Orit/RP-Sogod)