Dr. Otayza is Rizal national awardee

LAOAG CITY, May 28 — The chief of the state-run medical center in Batac City in Ilocos Norte has made fellow Ilocanos proud of her for having been cited with national award for excellence recently.

Dr. Ma. Lourdes K. Otayza, chief of the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, received the 21st Dr. Jose P. Rizal Memorial Award from the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) for her distinct and outstanding service to the country.

Otayza, an obstetrician and gynecologist, won the prestigious award for the Government Service category. She is a Career Service Officer V and a holder of a master’s degree in hospital administration.

As chief of hospital for 10 years now, Otayza initiated reforms at the medical center and transformed it as the best Department of Health hospital in Northern Luzon and the second-best state-run hospital in the entire country, as of the last assessment by the DOH.

Recently, the MMMH&MC inaugurated its Pharmacy building, Out-Patient Department and the country’s first Oxygen-Generating Plant in a hospital setting with Health Secretary Enrique Ona as guest of honor. The secretary exclaimed that “the hospital is the best model of the DOH slogan “Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” or Universal Health Care.

Otayza declared she is humbled by the award which reflects the ideals of our national hero. She likewise expressed her gratitude to the officials and employees of the MMMH&MC, the Ilocos Norte Medical Society for nominating her, and to the PMA. She vowed to continue providing universal health care to the public.

The Dr. Jose Rizal Memorial Award is given to outstanding Filipino physicians whose lives and works reflect the ideals of Rizal in their profession and practice, in their love for fellowmen, country and God.

The award began in 1987 when a group of the PMA component presidents from the Southern Tagalog Region conceived of giving an award to an outstanding Filipino physician of the year. Later, to make the award national in scope, the Southern Tagalog Association of Medical Practitioners sought the support of the PMA and United Laboratories.

The other categories of the award are in the fields of community leadership, clinical practice, academe and research.

Otayza is the third Ilocano to win the award in its long history. Last year, Oncologist and San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte Mayor Dr. Alfredo Valdez Jr. and Neonatologist Dr. Aurea Alicia Dagdag, both consultants at the MMMH&MC, received the award in different categories. (ANL/CPC-PIA 1, Ilocos Norte)