S. Cotabato pushing for accreditation of COVID-19 treatment hospital

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 28 April) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is pushing for the accreditation by the Department of Health (DOH) of its treatment hospital for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Surallah town.

The Upper Valley Community Hospital in Surallah, South Cotabato. Photo courtesy of Google Street View

Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said Tuesday they are working on the necessary processes to facilitate the reclassification of the Upper Valley Community Hospital (UVCH) in Barangay Dajay, Surallah from isolation to treatment facility.

He said the move will allow the hospital to get accreditation from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and eventually expand its services.

“Once properly accredited, we can put in 10 to 20 ventilators and expand its capacity to 100 beds,” he said in a press conference in Koronadal City.

The local government was supposed to turn over the UVCH, also known as the Soccsksargen General Hospital, to the DOH last year but it was delayed due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was transformed by the local government in April last year into a dedicated treatment facility for COVID-19, with an initial capacity of 20 beds and complete intensive care unit or ICU setup, including a ventilator.

The governor said DOH-12 initially issued a letter to the provincial government recognizing the hospital as a COVID -19 treatment facility but recalled it two months later and classified its use for isolation purposes.

But since last year, he said the hospital functioned as a treatment facility and handling severe to critical cases.

“The lack of proper accreditation has prevented patients and volunteer doctors to claim reimbursements from PhilHealth,” he said.

Tamayo said the provincial government currently shoulders all the expenses for the treatment of patients admitted at the UVCH.

He said they assigned at least three personnel that will serve as “runners” or handle the emergency needs of the patients to ensure that the costs will be charged to the local government. (MindaNews)