By JUNE S. BLANCO
THE House has considered on second reading the bill seeking to increase the bed capacity and upgrading the services, facilities and professional health care of the Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital (DEDVMH) in Ubay town.
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd District, together with Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles of Davao City’s 1st District, authored the bill that also seeks the authorization of the corresponding increase in the number of hospital personnel and providing funds therefor.
Rep. Angelina Tan, chair of the Committee on Health, Aumentado and Nograles sponsored the bill that replaces the earlier bill that Aumentado filed as the latter had sought a bed capacity increase of only up to 200 beds.
Aumentado determined that 200 beds will not be enough to accommodate the growing number of patients, some of whom are already occupying extra beds along the aisles.
The unprecedented number of patients came when DEDVMH acquired new equipment with competent personnel to operate them – and continuing to do so – and with an International Standard Organization (ISO) certification to boot.
This made the hospital attractive to patients coming from nearby towns and even other districts, hospital records would show.
Aumentado said the upped bed capacity also aims to accommodate islanders who now come in at an average of 80 to 100 persons a week after he mobilized his sea ambulance to ferry them to and from Ubay free of charge to get medical attention.
Some are good to go after consultation in the Out-Patient Department. Others need to be confined. To marginalized islanders, the fare for patients plus watchers, their food and accommodations as only the patient gets a bed, can be prohibitive. The cost even skyrockets if they have to bring their patients to Tagbilaran or to Cebu.
Parallel to the increase in bed capacity, the hospital is also gearing up for the arrival, installation and operationalization of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine that is part of the P45-million allocation from the surplus budget of the Department of Health (DoH) that Aumentado bagged during the other year’s budget hearing.
The machine will be the first to be installed in a national government hospital in the province.
A Computed Tomography (CT) scan and five more dialysis machines round up the equipment procured with the P45 million.
The DEDVMH used to be only an extension of the now Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Regional Hospital in Tagbilaran City. The Aumentado bill gives it independence.
“There can be no development under a sick constituency,” Aumentado said, hence he is pushing for the upgrading and modernization of the health industry especially in Bohol’s northeastern part.