Capitol budget can upgrade only one hospital
Kristine B. Quintas (The Freeman) - October 12, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu provincial government needs P2.5 billion to upgrade its four provincial hospitals into Level 2 facilities.

So far, however, only P133 million has been set aside for the upgrade of the Carcar Provincial Hospital this year. The Provincial Board also still needs to approve the budget.

 Board Member Christopher Baricuatro, chairman of the committee on health and social services, is optimistic that his colleagues in the board will approve the amount.

 “I don’t think mo babag sila ilabi na kun health ang hisgutan. Kun unsay ila (PHO) I-propose, I will try nga dili ma-slash ang budget,” he said.

 Provincial Health Office chief Dr. Rene Catan said they have been asking for P2.5 billion to develop the provincial hospitals located in Danao City, Bogo City, Carcar City, and Balamban.

 But Catan said the amount cannot be sourced out solely from this year’s P3.6 billion annual appropriation so the PHO requested for P200 million to prioritize the upgrade of the Carcar and Danao Provincial Hospitals in southern and northern Cebu, respectively.

 Unfortunately, the provincial government only vouched for the P133 million funding for Capital Outlay this year, Catan said.

 He said the amount is already a good deal to begin the project and would be piloted in Carcar. Danao will follow next year.

 He said there is a need to decongest the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) from patients coming from the towns and component cities in the province.

 Once the Carcar hospital will achieve a Level 2 status, a blood collecting unit can already be established there. This would allow the hospital to collect and distribute blood to other hospitals.

 During the Provincial Board session Monday, Catan said scarcity of blood is prevalent because the province is getting low supply from the Department of Health blood center, which is located at VSMMC.

 “We have to address the supply of blood. We cannot perform surgeries or any life-saving procedures without blood. Unfortunately, the blood center gives out blood to the entire region. VSMMC alone needs blood because it has become so huge that the center supplies most of its blood there,” he said.

 “In fact, recent statistics show that VSMMC’s 80 percent elective cases and 30 percent of emergency are given blood. So what that does leave us? Because of the demand for blood in VSMMC rarely do we get blood for our hospitals,” he added.

 Catan said the province cannot process and collect blood because it has no capability to do such.

 “We need Level 3 laboratory, which is in a Level 2 hospital to process blood. At the current state of our hospitals we cannot do that so there is a need to upgrade them,” he said.

 The upgrade is vital for the establishment of blood centers in the province, which helps address deaths due to blood loss.

 He also said the province' hospitals are only designed to admit 50 cases, but are accepting 100 more patients.

 Based on DOH classification standards, a Level 2 hospital should have completed the basic requirements for a second-level facility; have departmentalized clinical services; and have operational respiratory unit, general intensive care unit, high-risk-pregnancy unit, neonatal intensive care unit, tertiary clinical laboratory, blood station, and a second-level x-ray with mobile unit.

 Since only P133 million of P200 million would be funded, Catan said they would be looking for another source of funds for the remaining amount. He said they are considering entering into public-private partnerships and realigning of budgets from other Capitol’s programs and projects or sourcing from the Annual Investment Plan. (FREEMAN)

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