Upgrade of Tacloban hospital pushed

Published May 9, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Charissa M. Luci-Atienza

Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez wants to upgrade the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City and rename it as the Eastern Visayas Medical Center.

Romualdez said there is a need to increase the center’s bed capacity from 500 to 1,500, hire more medical staff and build up its services and facilities.

“The increase in bed capacity is aimed at bridging the current gap between hospital beds in the region, to improve the quality of healthcare and ensure the successful realization of the Philippine Health Agenda,” she said in filing House Bill 7401. “Enactment of this law will reduce the hospital bed to population ratio in the region from about 1:1,500 to approximately 1:1,000.”

The EVRMC is a Department of Health retained Level III hospital and is accredited by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.

Romualdez said the hospital “is currently struggling to keep up with the increasing number of patients being admitted, as its personnel complement is only good for patients half of the current headcount. It has then resorted to hiring of personnel on job order basis to fill the gap between plantilla positions and its actual manpower need.”

From July to December 2017, over 500 persons were hired for the facility.

But with the release of Joint Circular No.  17 by Civil Service Commission-Department of Budget and Management-Commission on Audit last year, the policy of hiring job order personnel has been discontinued, she said.

“Increasing the bed capacity to complement the actual number of patients being served will bring a much better service to the patients not only in terms of manpower but more so in the field of medicine, upgrade of equipment and improved health services as hospital generated resources can now be allocated to these areas other than payment of wages for additional workers,” the congressman said.

She said the expansion will allow the EVRMC to establish 12 specialty care centers at par with those in major cities in the country and in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“The expansion and upgrade of the hospital’s services will not only provide better health outcomes, but will also allow free if not,  low cost and accessible health care services, especially to the vulnerable people of the region,” Romualdez said.