SPMC allots P200M for centralized ICU

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 January) — The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) has allocated P200 million for a centralized intensive care unit (CICU) to enable the facility to render optimal services and care to its patients.

SPMC chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega revealed this on Monday in a press conference where he responded to allegations in social media that the hospital has been neglecting its patients.

Vega was referring to two incidents this month that have put the government-run hospital on the spot: the stabbing incident that involved the father of a patient, and another death of a patient allegedly caused by “lack” of oxygen supply.

He denied lack of oversight on their part saying medical personnel immediately attended to the patients.

The CICU, Vega said, is also one of the hospital’s responses to give complaining patients better services.

He said the new building, which will add 40 intensive care units and 150 beds, will be completed and become operational in the third quarter of this year. He said the same building will have multiple drug resistant units for TB patients, and provide services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

He said that 120 million pesos came from the Department of Health’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program. The rest of the budget will come from SPMC’s self-generated funds and will be used on equipment and manpower to run the facility.

In a presentation, Vega said the old emergency room of the hospital, which can only hold 50 patients, would stretch its capacity to cover 200 patients daily.

In 2011, the number of patients that could be accommodated in the ER doubled. In 2012, the hospital catered to 600 patients per day.

Today, he said the ER has over 850 walk-ins daily, and this number sometimes even rise to 1,000 including admissions, plus deliveries in the obstetrics department of at least 100.

Hospital admission has also been increasing and Vega predicted that it will continue to rise. In 2014, the hospital has had 64,601 admissions; in 2015, it had 66,463.

Outpatient department consultations have increased. In 2014, SPMC had 261,516 patients; in 2015, it had 315, 480.

Surgeries have increased. In 2014, there were 7,154 major surgeries and 1,305 minor ones. In 2015, there were 7,326 major surgeries and 1,393 minor ones.

Vega attributed the increase to the high level of confidence and trust of the patients who came to the hospital for specialized treatments and medical services.

Mortality rates in stood at 4.65 percent in 2014 and 4.51 percent in 2015, both below DOH’s standard of 5 percent.

The hospital employs 1,700 personnel 200 of whom are doctors.

Dr. Maria Elinore Concha said that even with their goal to serve everyone better, a patient’s expectations may not match their operations.

“We follow a protocol that prioritizes patients,” she said. But she clarified that “the system of prioritization that the ER has might not sometimes match their expectations of what is an emergency and what is not.”

Juruena Florenda, SPMC’s ER nurse supervisor explained that they initially classify cases into three: urgent, semi-urgent, and non-urgent. But as everyone wants to be attended to first, those whose cases are non-urgent would insist that theirs is “urgent.”

She said urgent cases, like vehicular accidents, involve a patient that needs immediate resuscitation without which he or she would die. But she clarified that other victims of vehicular accidents do not fall in that category. (Jesse Pizarro Boga/MindaNews)