Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Legazpi mayor sees city hospital as most updated pro-poor public health facility in Bicol
By Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY, May 23 (PNA) -– To be furnished with high-end equipment solicited from various United States- based donors, the public hospital now being established by the city government here would be the most modern public healthcare facility in Bicol, according to Mayor Noel Rosal.

“We are now assured of a big bulk of modern hospital equipment packed in two 40-footer containers due for shipment from the United States,” Rosal said in a statement reaching here from the US on Monday.

It is composed of high-standard (16 slice) CT scan and X-ray machines, operating tables, wheelchairs and other state-of-the art stuffs which the mayor, now on official travel to the US, personally solicited from friendly donors.

CT (computed tomography) scan, which is so expensive in private local hospitals, is an imaging method that uses X-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body.

“We are going to use this high-end modern equipment free of charge on the part of indigent patients for whom our city hospital is primarily intended,” he said.

The mayor said one of the American institutions he visited on invitation of its president and chief executive officer George Samson was the headquarters of the World Medical Relief Inc. (WMRI) in Detroit, Michigan from where he was able to secure the big chunk of the donations.

He described the WMRI as a multi-funded, non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to impact the well-being of the medically impoverished on a local, national, and international basis.

Other donors are Filipino communities in the same American state who also gave him a clear insight on the proper way of handling a government hospital to ensure more effective medical services to the benefit of local families, particularly those who belong to the poorest of the poor, Rosal said.

The establishment here of a state-of-the-art public hospital has been placed in the pipeline since three years ago and the beginning of its realization came last year with the start of the construction that marked another milestone in furtherance of the local government’s “most livable city” character.

The project, located within a 3,000-square-meter city-owned property inside the eight-hectare city government business center at the heart of the commercial district, will rise as the most modern public health facility in the Bicol Region primarily devoted to indigent patients in the city and its neighboring localities.

Its operations would help decongest the 250-bed capacity Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital, a Department of Health-run hospital here catering to the needs of patients from the provinces of Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon and part of Camarines Sur.

The construction is being facilitated via the Php60-million fund poured into the city by the DOH and counterpart from the local government of Php20 million.

It is scheduled to be completed within this year and expected to be made operational early next year initially as a Level One hospital to attend to less serious cases, simple surgical operations and emergency treatments, among others.

The request for funding from the DOH made last year by Rosal was granted on agreement that the maintenance and other operating expenses of the hospital amounting to Php50 million yearly will be shouldered by the city government through an annual allocation from the local coffer.

The local allocation, according to city administrator Wilfredo “Pecos” Intia, would ensure that the Legazpi City Hospital is manned by competent doctors, nurses and other medical staff; and supplied with medicines that will be dispensed free to indigent patients; and provided with new medical equipment required to make it a truly modern public health care facility, Intia said.

“It is very fortunate that the DOH, under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, is helping us a lot in this endeavor as part of its program of establishing public hospitals in most localities of the country,” he said. (PNA) SCS/FGS/DOC/CBD/EDS