Before the mid 1990’s, the Section of EENT under the Department of Surgery handled ENT care in government hospitals of Western Visayas. Despite the unaccredited training program, a number of resident physicians continued to offer their time and services in order to achieve a good background in this specialty with the help of a few ENT-HNS consultants who likewise shared their expertise. In Bacolod, the pioneer ENT-HNS consultant was Dr. Restituto Gorosin who came in the 1960’s, while in Iloilo, it was Dr. Rodolfo De La Cruz who started his practice in 1983. The 80’s and the 90’s welcomed more graduates: Dr. Rodolfo Nonato, Dr. Jose Montilla III and Dr. Jose Ramon Arriola in Bacolod; Dr. Teodoro Jardeleza and Dr. Arend Arugay in Iloilo.
In January 1996, the section of EENT-CLMMRH was upgraded to a Department level with Dr. Rodolfo Nonato as its first chairman.
With the growing number of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (ENT-HNS) consultants in the region plus the encouragement from the Philippine Board of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery (PBO-HNS) to form an accredited ENT-HNS residency-training program, the problems of accreditation, like lack of consultants and/or lack of equipment/instruments, eventually had a solution. This was the creation of a training consortium among the interested institutions.
The triumvirate of Dr. Rodolfo de la Cruz, Dr. Rodolfo Nonato and Dr. Arend Arugay applied for an accreditation training program with the Philippine Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Finally, on August 31, 1996, Western Visayas officially started to have its accredited ENT-HNS training program with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement involving the Western Visayas Medical Center (the base/mother hospital) and St. Paul’s Hospital in Iloilo, and C.L. Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod. Two members of the PBO-HNS Accreditation Committee witnessed this memorable event, namely Dr. Mariano Caparas and Dr. Remegio Jarin. From then on the delivery of quality care in ENT-HNS particularly for the indigent patients of the region has inevitable and remarkably improved. Coupled with this advancement is the graduation of more ENT-HNS specialist for the region, who are PBO-HNS Board eligible.
Through time, the three institutions in the consortium manage to fulfill the requirements for separate accreditation, despite the fact that rotations and common activities necessary for the consortium had proven to be taxing both to the residents and consultants staffs.
CLMMRH became a separate training hospital in January 1, 2005. The accrediting PBO-HNS took cognizance of the adequate number of consultants, census and statistics of patients, and the acquisition of the necessary instrumentations and facilities.
To bolster the residents exposure to private care set-up, the rotation of the residents in the Department of ENT-HNS Riverside Medical Center has been recognized and has been mutually advantageous to both parties as far as patient care is concerned on one hand and residency training on the other.
The ENT-HNS residency-training program in Bacolod has gone a long way and still has a long way to go. It is hoped that it will continue to produce ENT-HNS graduates who will be diplomates and fellows of the PSO-HNS effectively delivering quality ENT-HNS care.