GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 August) — The city government has completed around P67 million worth of health infrastructure and other related projects in the last 12 months through a grant from the Department of Health (DOH).
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said the financial grant mainly funded the upgrading and expansion of the city hospital complex and other related facilities run by the City Health Office.
He said the DOH assistance, which was released under its continuing health facilities enhancement program (HFEP), specifically covered for the rehabilitation and construction of additional facilities and acquisition of various modern equipment for the city hospital.
It facilitated the reopening last June of the hospital intensive care unit after not being used for nearly a decade due to the lack of equipment and maintenance problems, he said.
The mayor said the ICU, which is now fully operational, could accommodate three patients at any given time and is complete with ventilators and electro cardiogram machines, 12 infusions pumps and other critical emergency and life-saving equipment.
Using the DOH grant, he said they completed the construction this year of additional operating room theaters, medical isolation unit and the hemodialysis center building of the city hospital.
He said they also finished the renovation of the city’s Tuberculosis Multi-Drug Resistant clinic, which is located within the city hospital complex.
Rivera said grant facilitated the renovation and expansion of the city hospital’s maternity or obstetrics and gynecology ward.
“We also increased our hospital beds with refurbished and brand new hydraulic units,” he said.
To complement the DOH’s investments, the mayor said the city government allocated an additional P47 million for the procurement of drugs, medicines and other vital hospital supplies.
He said they are drawing out plans to further improve and expand the other facilities at the hospital to address its overcrowding problems.
“There are times wherein three patients actually occupy a single bed,” he lamented.
Aside from the infrastructure improvements, Rivera said they are currently implementing several reforms to further enhance the hospital’s operations and services.
He said these reforms are focused on the shaping up of the long-time “state of neglect and mismanagement of our hospital and our overall chaotic city health services.”
“Our city health office and city hospital were not operating in sync, jeopardizing our ability to render quality service given our already very limited resources,” he said.
Last year, the mayor ordered an inventory and an audit of the city health office’s programs and services, including the financial health of the city hospital.
He said the Commission on Audit (COA) team that conducted the inventory and audit recently submitted its preliminary findings.
“We are going to pursue appropriate actions against those who the COA found to have committed serious infractions,” he added, without further elaborating. (MindaNews)