The city government of Borongan in Eastern Samar is planning to upgrade its modern isolation facility to a 50-bed hospital with the increasing need for better health care services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda said the proposed city hospital will have pediatric, obstetrics, internal medicine, and surgical wards, and a five to 10-bed isolation unit for emerging diseases, with a proposed 10 percent of its capacity for private patients to support its maintenance and operations.
The city government said only 22 beds will need structure as its isolation facility with modern medical equipment in Campesao village has a 28-bed capacity.
Agda said he was hesitant about the proposal at first considering its maintenance and operation expenses, but the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) onslaught gave him anxiety with the city having no decent place for “would-be” patients.
“I will push through with the hospital of our own. This will grow I assure you, as long as there is no corruption,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
Raul Villanueva, the city health officer, said they have to comply first with the criteria set by the Department of Health (DOH) for the establishment of another hospital in the area.
In terms of population to bed ratio, Villanueva said the two existing hospitals in the city have been admitting patients more than their capacity and budget for the past three years.
The 100-bed Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital (ESPH) has a 119-percent occupancy rate and 158 percent for the 60-bed Borongan Doctors Hospital, he added.
“There is a pending bill converting ESPH to a medical center or tertiary hospital. If this happens, the hospital will have a 300-bed capacity catering to more complicated illnesses that requires expertise. With this, ordinary illnesses could be left unattended or will be taken care of the private hospital which is likewise overwhelmed with patients having an occupancy rate of more than its capacity,” Villanueva said.
He added that the proposed hospital would also serve patients from the towns of San Julian, Maydolong, and Balangkayan, composing the inter-local health zone.
“The DOH requires and must be convinced that there is a need for another hospital in the area. The city health office sees full completion of the requirements with the help of the four teams working it out in the financial, policy, engineering, and human resource,” Villanueva said.
The health official said they would only need a surgeon, as the city already has a pediatrician, obstetrician-gynecologist, internal medicine doctors, and he for one, is an anesthesiologist.
The city government is hopeful the congress will approve the proposal with the support of Ma. Fe Abunda, Eastern Samar Representative and former three-termer mayor of the city. (PNA)