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Bohol to acquire diver treatment chamber

August 28, 2009

Tagbilaran City

TAGBILARAN CITY — After a long advocacy group supported getting a decompression chamber for emergancy medical use, local government leaders are now seriously planning for a hyperbaric chamber.

Through the Provincial Tourism Council (PTC), Governor Erico Aumentado revealed that the plan is to procure the needed decompression chamber at the newly opened Bohol Medical Care Institute in Bohol.

Putting up the chamber has been a long dream for Bohol whose prime dive sites have lured local and international divers.

Still saddled with the apparent failure of the government to regulate the dives with direct supervision from the Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD), Bohol’s resources and guest divers endanger themselves when diving here.

“We need this decompression chamber so much, with the lack of equipment here, some victims of diving accidents could not reach hospitals and facilities that can help them,” said Aumentado.

The nearest facility Bohol divers can use is at the Central Command in Cebu and dive accident victims need to be airlifted to survive and make it to the treatment center.

According to the governor, Bohol has already been authorized to operate the hyper baric equipment.

A hyperbaric apparatus is capable of giving a therapy to dive victims whose blood oxygen levels have not stabilized after fast surfacing, posing dangers to their body oxygen levels against the atmospheric pressure.

At the present set-up, even with world-class dive sites, divers here need to sign waivers to waive dive operators’ responsibility in the eventuality of dive accidents, the governor added.

“We are now in the process of negotiating with the purchase of a P1 million equipment,” he shared to the delight of council members who are dive operators who tend to immediately benefit from the move.

Now we are planning to ask the Sangguniang Panlalwigan to promulgate an ordinance imposing fees for the use of the facility at the BMCI, said Aumentado.

www.pia.gov.ph

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