GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 28 April) – The Department of Health has allocated an additional P75 million next year to augment the ongoing construction and development of the Sarangani provincial hospital complex in Alabel town.
Dr. Arvin Alejandro, officer-in-charge of the provincial health office of Sarangani, said such commitment was issued last week by Health Secretary Enrique Ona during a visit and inspection of the project, which is being built within a 3,500-sq. meter area at the provincial capitol grounds.
He said the agency has already released around P50 million for the facility’s initial phase that is now about 95 percent complete.
The project’s construction started in late January last year or nearly two years after its groundbreaking with the release of the initial funding from the DOH’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program.
The first phase of the hospital, which will be named Sarangani Medical Center, comprised the emergency room, clinical laboratory and nursing services rooms.
The completion of the 200-bed hospital, which would be operated as a tertiary facility, was projected to cost around P250 million.
Aside from the P50 million funding for the hospital’s first phase, Alejandro said the DOH has allocated some P20 million for the acquisition of hospital equipment.
He said another P5 million was released by the agency for the construction of a two-story out-patient department and operating room foundation.
The official said the provincial government has already released some P5 million as counterpart to the project.
“The DOH has been downloading counterpart funds yearly and has committed to allocate more to facilitate the hospital’s completion,” he said in a statement.
In the last two years, the DOH has already released around P112 million for the ongoing upgrading of the municipal hospitals in Kiamba, Glan and Malungon towns.
The initiative mainly focuses on the upgrading of the three infirmary facilities to Level 1 primary hospitals.
The DOH and the provincial government have been pushing for the completion of the provincial hospital within the next two years.
The provincial government presently maintains patient referrals to this city through a memorandum of agreement with three private hospitals.
It spends an average of P20 million yearly for the medical and hospitalization costs of patients from the province’s seven municipalities.
In 2013, the provincial health office reported a total of 2,605 patient referrals and admissions, costing the provincial government around P23 million.