December 16, 1998 – an ordinary busy day at the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital There was however, an air of excitement in the New Diagnostic Center as the hospital prepared to inaugurate its Dialysis Center with one dialysis machine. Many did not know that day, December 16, was the 60th birthday of Dr. Boy Benemerito.
At this time, Dumaguete City only has one dialysis machine each running at the local private hospitasl, and patients who need dialysis had to go to Cebu or Manila .
Two years before, Dr. Eusebio Z. Benemerito, a well known Nephrologist from La Libertad based in Florida , known to family and friends as Dr. Boy, had laid the groundwork to donate dialysis machines and other hospital accessories for a Dialysis Center at a government hospital to assist indigent patients. It was his dream to have a Dialysis Center in the NOPH to serve the local patients. To tis end, he partnered his Rotary Club in Florida with the Rotary Club of Dumaguete.
With a simple ceremony, NOPH started operating the Dialysis Unit with one machine. Private donations, like the needed Water Tank was given by Robert Sy, and in the later years, a generator was donated by the Rotary Club of Dumaguete.
Working on a matching grant with his Rotary Club of Port St. Lucie and the Rotary Club of Dumaguete, Dr. Boy’s dream of a Dialysis Center for Negros Oriental took off. From one dialysis machine, he sent two more, three more, and many more machines; he sent extra dialysis machines for Dipolog, for Bohol, Davao and Negros Occidental. Thousands of dialysis procedures are done at the NOPH yearly as the numbers of machines increased. The NOPH Dialysis Center became the first dialysis center in a provincial government hospital in the country.
Fast forward to December 19, 2018 – The medical staff of the NOPH Dialysis Unit held a simple affair to celebrate its 20th year and to unveil its plans for the next ten years. It had acquired new machines and plans to have more new machines running in the next few years at a reasonable cost for local patients. The hospital statistics showed a tremendous increase in the number of patients and other patients waiting in line to avail of the services of the Unit..
As I saw the happy faces of the Medical staff of the Unit, I see the legacy of the late Dr. EUSEBIO ZERNA BENEMERITO who would have been 80 years old as the Dialysis Unit celebrates its 20th Anniversary. The torch is passed, the new generation of doctors and nurses serving in the Unit, the current President and the incoming officers of the Rotary Club of Dumaguete now face the challenge to continue what Dr. Boy has started.
Twenty years, how time flies, and yet how fleeting life is: Dr. Boy has gone to his glory; We had also bid goodbye to Dr. Felimon Flores who was his partner in this project, Billy- the Unit Technician. Today, in celebration of the blessing God has given this Unit, I thank all the people who have faithfully served and supported the Center, all the doctors, the nurses, the Rotarians, our Governor and Congressman and all who gave their best.