SORSOGON CITY—The Dr. Fernando B. Duran Sr. Memorial Hospital in Sorsogon province faces a P108-million upgrade to provide patients with comfortable accommodations and better health services at par with the services offered by private hospitals in the province, Dr. Edgar Garcia Jr., provincial health officer II said.
Improved health services will be made available to ordinary patients as specialists are expected to join the provincial hospital once the upgrade is completed, he said, noting that the introduction of private wards into this government institution is a component of the project.
“Medical specialists will be attracted to practice with us since we will have private wards were they can admit their patients,” he told the BusinessMirror. “As a result, indigent patients will have access to the different specialists.”
The hospital accommodates at present more than its capacity to have room for patients, said Fernando Hugo, officer in charge administrative officer.
According to Garcia, hospital fees will be cut-rate compared to private hospitals in the province, adding that socialized-health fees will also be accepted.
Garcia said P98 million will go to civil work, while the remaining P10 million will be for equipment.
“It is a 50-percent loan from the Department of Finance, 30-percent grant from the German government through the health-sector reform agenda program, and 20-percent equity of the province,” he said.
Both the shares from the province and the foreign donor which are in the provincial government account are already available and only the load is in waiting, Garcia said.
“The loan is waiting for the monetary board of the Central Bank for its opinion,” he said. “But the province has already issued a notice for the winning contractor to proceed with the project. The project is already in motion with the available budget.”
“It is financed by the equity from the provincial government and grant from Germany,” he said.
Responding to complaints received from patients regarding the present health services of the provincial hospital, Hugo said the hospital is doing its best from the annual budget allotted by the provincial government.
He said most indigent patients perceive the provincial hospital as a charitable institution where everything is provided for free.
“While it is a government hospital, it is not necessarily a charitable institution,” he said.
He said patients who have the capacity to pay should pay hospital fees, adding that “we cannot continue to operate if we give everything for free.”
Garcia believes the poor are worthy of enjoying better health services, saying that “indigent patients deserve quality, affordable and accessible health care.”
“These are the gaps that the province is trying to address,” he said.