Hospital for poor children has yet to apply for permits, says DOH

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 February) – A philanthropic organization that planned to put up a hospital for children here is yet to apply for a permit to construct the $2.5-million facility, an official at the Department of Health (DOH) XI said.

In an interview, Felix Dullin, DOH-XI health facilities licensing section chief, today said that Cure International, the project proponent, has not submitted the documentary requirements for the hospital project.

Dullin said he was surprised to learn that a groundbreaking ceremony was held in the project site two weeks ago and was attended by Randy Manery of Cure International, Pastor Steven Cury and wife Sue and acting city administrator lawyer Zuleika Lopez.

“It has been a long time that we have not communicated with representatives from Cure (International). We don’t know what their plan is,” the health official said.

He said the last meeting with representatives from Cure International was over a year ago when they “legally asked” if they can put up a children’s hospital without emergency facilities.

Dullin said the DOH made it clear to Cure International that emergency facilities are “a basic requirement for hospital operations”.

Asked about the possibility that representatives of Cure International may have submitted the necessary permit applications to the DOH central office in Manila, he said there had been no word [from the central office].

In a press conference last month, Sonia Reyes, consultant to Cure International said they were preparing the necessary documents and that construction is expected to start within the next six months.

The group said the hospital they will build in this city will be the 12th of its kind in the world and the first in Asia.

Reyes called the project a blessing for Mindanao and Davao City.

The planned 30-bed facility will cater to indigent patients particularly children needing orthopedic interventions, she said.

She also pointed out that the hospital falls under the classification of a specialty clinic, as it lacks emergency care facilities to qualify it as a hospital based on DOH guidelines.

To date Cure International, a non-stock, non-profit organization founded by Dr. Scott Harrison, a successful orthopedic surgeon who was moved by the plight of African children after his visit to the continent sometime in the 1990s had established children’s hospitals in Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, Honduras, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

According to Reyes, Cure International will allocate about $2.5 million for the building and equipment and the operation will focus on providing free medical assistance to poor children. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)