In the middle of what was undoubtedly the worst surge of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, the city of Manila got a much-needed healthcare boost with the opening of the Bagong Ospital ng Maynila earlier this week.
Located beside the Manila Zoo in Malate, This 10-story, fully air-conditioned new hospital, once it becomes fully operational by the middle of this year, will include in its 384-bed capacity 20 private rooms as well as 12 intensive care units or ICUs. It puts the new Ospital ng Maynila at par with most of the country’s private healthcare institutions in terms of its capability for patient care, again giving a refreshing boost to how local, public hospitals should be. It is no secret, after all, that many public hospitals suffer from a stigma — that these institutions are often not well-equipped to handle every kind of medical emergency that citizens of the cities or towns they are located in need.
The local government of Manila did not waste any minute in making use of its newest healthcare facility, turning a portion of the new hospital into a drive-thru booster vaccination site for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers, even those who are not residents of the city. As of writing, there have been some 668 PUV drivers who received booster shots at the Bagong Ospital ng Maynila.
With the country still battling its way through the COVID pandemic, a push in healthcare is to be expected, and the city of Manila seems to be doing its part — and not just when it comes to developing facilities dedicated to protecting residents and non-residents alike against COVID. On the same day the Bagong Ospital ng Maynila opened its doors, the local government also inaugurated a state-of-the-art treatment center at Sta. Ana Hospital. This new Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Medicine and Robotics Center promises to cater primarily to patients suffering from paralysis due to brain injuries by providing modern treatment using the latest medical robotics technology.
There is something to be learned from the example of the city of Manila. Pandemic or not, healthcare would always be among the primary concerns of every citizen. Sure, there is the Philippine General Hospital, foremost among the country’s public healthcare institutions. But there is no stopping local government units from beefing up — or, to be one with the times, boosting — the healthcare services they offer for their constituents. To a great extent, a solid and well-developed healthcare system beats every other form of ayuda any local government could give during trying times, such as the one we all live in today. And it is service that could outlive any kind of virus that could plague the country or the world in the future.