By JUNE S. BLANCO
THE Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital (DEDVMH) in Ubay town stands to increase its bed capacity from 50 to 300.
This after the House of Representatives approved on final reading the Committee on Health-endorsed bill of Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2ndDistrict.
The move aims to decongest the hospital that already serves as many as 70 confined patients each day – on top of those attended to in the Out-Patient Department.
Aumentado noted that the DEDVMH now also caters to patients from even Bohol’s 3rd and 1st Districts.
Parallel to the increase in bed capacity, the hospital is also gearing up for the arrival, installation and operationalization in the next two weeks of the 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 last 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.
“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.
“And the only way to start off and fast track the recovery of patients is to ensure that the hospital has ready and excellent medical services,” he added.
Modern equipment, he added, augur well for accurate diagnoses – with no need for referrals to hospitals in Tagbilaran City or even Cebu City. Transfers would entail more expenses for the patients and their families.
Meanwhile, Aumentado said, the dialysis machines are expected to arrive next year to beef up the capacity of the DEDVMH Dialysis Center – to be upgraded from merely a hospital unit.
The CT scan and MRI are machines that take pictures of the organs and structures inside the body and are used in diagnosis. The dialysis machine cleanses the blood of toxins for patients whose kidneys are no longer functioning.
Capacitating the DEDVMH will also cut the cost on the part of patients and their watchers. On top of the hospital expenses, some patients’ watchers who have no relatives in the city and with no money to spare for lodging houses have to make do with resting or even sleeping in the parking area. They also have to stretch their budget for food.
Whereas when all their patients’ needs can already be attended to in the DEDVMH, their watchers can be comfortable as their homes are just nearby. They can have reliever watchers as well.
The pinch will especially be felt by islanders because more often than not, the motorized boat trip from the island in the morning will be the only return trip in the afternoon.
If the patients and watchers miss the return trip, they will have to pay more for a special trip, or stay for the night – which spells even more expense.
Aumentado said this gave rise to the concept of a sea ambulance. He observed that for each two-way trip, the sea ambulance ferries around 200 patients – mostly children.