SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao (MindaNews/04 September) — Maguindanao’s Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) on Friday opened its refurbished hospital in Datu Hofer town that boasts of state-of-the-art facilities.
IPHO chief Dr. Tahir Sulaik together with Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) officials unveiled the hospital’s new P8.6-million emergency room and other sections that have made it the only level-two hospital in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The construction of new emergency room is part of the second phase of the hospital improvement financed by income from Philhealth contributions.
The other sections include a holding area for cases of highly contagious diseases, intensive care unit, surgery and trauma section that will handle mass casualty incidents and women and child protection unit for abused women and children.
Sulaik said they treat all patients equally and give free medicines to members of Philhealth.
Most of the patients brought to the Maguindanao provincial hospital are poor farmers of Liguasan Marsh and mountainous areas of Maguindanao. Lately, some have come from Lanao del Sur and North Cotabato, he said.
“Because it’s clean here, the service is good, we are comfortable”, according to Kali, a resident of Aleosan, North Cotabato, a guardian of her sister who was confined for kidney disease.
In January this year, the IPHO hospital opened to the public its rehabilitated building and facilities as part of first phase improvement. The rehabilitation cost P30 million.
The provincial hospital has modest beginning in 1974 in Shariff Aguak town with only a 50-bed capacity and small medical staff despite attending to many patients who are mostly poor. Now it can house 150 patients and is handled by 400 personnel, 32 of them doctors.
Philhealth President Alexander Padilla, who attended the inauguration, said he would help the IPHO get into the third phase of the expansion of the hospital next year. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)