To map out critical facility needs, identify gaps, prioritize, and lay out a comprehensive hospital development plan before the newly-elected local chief executives, health officials conducted a Chiefs of Hospitals meeting at Luxent Hotel in Quezon City.
“We have laid out the preparation for developing our regional health facilities, but challenges remain,” said Assistant Secretary Maria Francia Laxamana.
“We are now entering the new administration and the devolution transition where certain functions will be devolved to the local government units,” he also said.
“We must ensure that we continue to carry on what we have started in our hospital development plans.
Participants came from the DOH-Center for Health Development-CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon).
Aside from hospital executives, the meeting was also attended by medical chiefs from public health facilities of the region, DOH-retained hospitals, Provincial Health Officers (PHOs) and Association of Municipal Health Officers of the Philippines (AMHOP) presidents
The issues identified include insufficient hospital beds, the distance of far-flung health facilities to apex referral hospitals, and the lack of hospital staff.
Only two apex referral hospitals offer specialized services in Calabarzon, namely, Batangas Medical Center (BatMC) in Batangas City and private-owned De La Salle University Medical Center in Dasmarinas City Cavite.
Calabarzon has a total inventory of hospital beds of 14,387 beds, and its bed-to-population ratio is 0.66 or 1 per 1,215 population.
The region has a projected bed need of 21,847 and an unmet bed need of 7,460.
Some legislative measures to expand existing operational capacities and capabilities of some hospitals and infirmaries that are now pending in the legislature, such as the upgrade for Isaac Tolentino Memorial Medical Center in Tagaytay City, Cavite; General Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital in Trece Martires City, Cavite; Ospital ng Imus in Imus City, Cavite; Bay District Hospital in Bay, Laguna; San Pablo City District Hospital in San Pablo City, Laguna; Mabini Community Hospital in Mabini, Batangas; Southern Tagalog Medical Center in Ibaan, Batangas; and Northern Tagalog Regional Hospital in Rodriguez, Rizal.
Moreover, there are also pending bills for the upgrade of health facilities in Quezon Province for Alabat Island District Hospital, Bondoc Peninsula District Hospital, Claro M. Recto Memorial District Hospital, Mulanay Medical Center, Quezon Medical Center, and Polillo Medicare Community Hospital.
A multi-specialty hospital is now under construction in Tayabas City, Quezon Southern Luzon Multi-Specialty Medical Center, with a 500-bed capacity.
Regional Director Ariel I. Valencia stated that the region would adopt a synergy approach to address the gaps.
All the localized hospital development plans laid out in the meeting will be submitted to the regional development council for inclusion on the investment roadmap.