By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY– The city government is reviving a long-dormant private hospital that will be converted into a critical care facility for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by April 14.
This was disclosed by City Mayor Benjamin Magalong as he said that preparation for the revival of the Sto. Niño Hospital in Barangay P. Burgos has gone into full blast after they were able to convince the owners of the dormant,, 36-bed medical facility, which ceased to operate 10 years ago, as well as barangay officials about the urgency and need to have a dedicated facility for COVID-19 patients that could help contain the spread of the virus in Baguio City.
The team preparing the center is being led by St. Louis University Hospital of the Sacred Heart Medical Director Dr. Paul Adlai B. Quitiquit,, who has dispatched a team that inspected the building, and determined that the city would need at least three weeks to repurpose the building being currently used as a school.
“Our preparations on services, equipment, manpower, and other logistics are also ongoing. We are currently finalizing our draft proposal to the city for the operation of the new center,” Quitiquit told the mayor.
He will also submit recommendations to facilitate the application for the facility’s license to operate as a specialty hospital with the assistance of the Department of Health (DOH).
Mahalong wants a third party to certify that the facility passed the standards before the first patient can be brought in.
In a dialogue held March 27, Magalong assured that the city will undertake all measures to secure the area to prevent contamination in the community.
He thanked the owners and the local community for understanding the plight of the patients, residents and city government for giving the go-signal to the proposal.
The exclusive critical care unit will enable the city to segregate COVID-19 patients from non-COVID-19 patients, and free the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center and other hospitals from contamination risks.
Doctors and experts on infectious diseases have assured that the facility will be protected and contained to avoid danger to the community.
Dela Peña said the city will install proper solid and liquid waste disposal, fire prevention, sewer, electrical, plumbing and security systems in the building.
For these requirements including the various carpentry and repair works, the city continued to receive help from private individuals and companies who volunteered their services and equipment for free, among them businessman Roland Gapuz, Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc., Jerco Hardware, Davies and Boysen paints.
Medical and housekeeping facilities and manpower will again be pooled from the various hospitals, DOH, and the city government.