GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 July) — The Department of Health (DOH) is planning to pour in as much as P100 million for the expansion and upgrading within the next two years of the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Koronadal City.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said Monday Health Secretary Enrique Ona gave such commitment after personally visiting and inspecting the 45 year-old provincial hospital last Friday.
She said the DOH chief specifically signified to increase the budget for the hospital’s improvement under its flagship Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP).
“Instead of our initial P10-million allocation (under HFEP), the DOH will be giving us around P70 million or even as much as P100 million,” Fuentes said.
The governor said the DOH is initially sending a team of experts to study and evaluate the operations of the provincial hospital.
The team will help the local government identify problems and recommend the necessary reforms to help improve the management and operations of the hospital, she said.
“(Sec. Ona) promised to visit us again next year to see to it that the needed improvements will be in place,” she said.
Ona visited the province last Friday to lead the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the takeover by the DOH of the operation and management of the provincial hospital annex in Surallah town.
The agency allotted an initial P63 million this year to fund the necessary improvements on the facility, which would later be expanded and developed into a regional medical center.
Last year, the DOH invested a total of P26.5-million for the initial improvements at the provincial hospital through the HFEP.
Around P20 million was spent for the rehabilitation and construction of hospital facilities while the P6.5 million was utilized for the acquisition of various equipment.
For this year, the DOH allotted an additional P48.7 million under HFEP to fund various projects in the province but none involved the provincial hospital.
Fuentes said Sec. Ona wants the development of the main provincial hospital and the Surallah annex to proceed at the same time.
“He actually prefers to develop the provincial hospital first but since the plans for Surallah annex are already in place, the two projects will just complement each other,” she added. (MindaNews)