Some 120 OB and surgery patients already admitted in the old NOPH building were given the privilege to first occupy the state-of-the-art Negros Oriental Provincial hospital central block building when it was officially opened to serve the public Saturday, April 8, 2017.
A simple ceremony was held during the formal opening and was conducted by hospital administrators led by Provincial Health Officer II Dr. Henrissa Calumpang; Health Officer I and Chief of Hospital, Dr. Marc Anthony Llosa; Administrative Officer III Inocencio Obligar; and the first NORSU President Dr. Henry Sojor, who represented the Honorable Governor Roel Ragay Degamo. Dr. Sojor had recently been directed to assist in the management of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital.
The existence of the central block building is expected to address the perennial problem of patient overcrowding at the old NOPH building which resulted to patients being confined in the hospital’s various hallways due to lack of hospital rooms or wards.
The official opening can be considered as being long overdue considering the fact that the central block building was already considered completed as early as January 2016. However, the budget for the acquisition of hospital beds for the central block, its additional fixtures and features, including the budget for the structure’s monthly electric bill, was contained in the 2016 delayed budget that was supposed to complement its full operation. This was according to Mr. Inocencio Obligar, Administrative Officer III of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital.
Obligar said, “The building had been ready for occupancy as early as last year but we have to wait for the needed supplies, such as the hospital beds, which arrived only last Wednesday.”
In fact, Obligar added that the central block building was the main facility used for surgery cases during the famous Alameda Medical Mission early this year. He further said the budgetary requirement for the acquisition of hospital beds and other equipment was incorporated in the 2016 budget which was approved only in October last year. After which it took the hospital management some time to complete the complex procurement process from the bidding to the actual delivery.
Earlier, Negros Oriental Governor Roel Ragay Degamo and Provincial Administrator Richard Enojo clarified that the 350-million pesos loaned from the DBP was intended only for the construction of the 4-storey central block building and did not include the budgetary requirement for supplies and equipment for it to be fully operational.
Mr. Obligar claimed that Gov. Degamo immediately ordered for the start of the operation of the central block building after the beds finally arrived last Wednesday. He said it took them two days to set up everything in the new building and that is the reason why the opening was held on a Saturday.
Doctors Calumpang and Llosa also said everybody was excited about the recent development since the people have long been waiting for this to happen. This can also be considered as a witness of the political will of the present provincial government under the helm of Governor Degamo to do what is needed and to do what is right.
Dr. Marc Llosa said the four-storey Negros Oriental Hospital central block building, which has a 250-bed capacity, is now considered as the main hospital building.
The central block now hosts the eight operating rooms located in the ground floor six of which are intended for various surgical cases and two are for obstetric related cases. In fact, during the short press con held as part of the simple official opening ceremony, a caesarean section was being performed in the new south wing operating room of the central block building, as revealed by Dr. Marc Llosa.
Aside from the eight ORs, the ground floor also hosts the neo-natal ICU, Post anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU), the information section, the delivery room, the recovery rooms and other facilities. The second floor is intended for surgery wards, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and some isolation rooms for highly contagious diseases, while the third floor will be for OB wards, private rooms and isolation rooms. The fourth floor is for additional wards, private rooms and more isolation rooms for highly contagious diseases.
Dr. Llosa said the building at present can accommodate only as much as 150 patients a day owing to the fact that some hospital beds have not been fully delivered.
He said the Negros 0riental Provincial Hospital is classified as a tertiary level hospital facility which means the hospital cannot go beyond the 250 bed capacity. But even with such limitation, the hospital staff and administrators cannot refuse admission of patients which he said can reach from 400 to 500 cases on a daily average.
The building can very well address such concern of over crowding of the hospital.
It is common knowledge that the NOPH caters to clients coming from the provinces of Northern Mindanao, Bohol, Siquijor, Southern Cebu and Western Visayas.
To ensure the efficiency of the operation of the central block building, Obligar said the provincial government started hiring additional health personnel since last year.
He said the above is expected to meet the personnel requirement for the operation of the provincial hospital including that of the central block building.
He said 60 nurses were initially hired on a part-time basis but was later elevated to permanent status. The hospital administration also hired another 40 nurses also on part-time status, additional pharmacists, medical technologists, radiologists and even doctors.
Hospital administrators said this is part of their preparation and anticipation of the high demand of manpower due to the operation of the new building.
On the other hand, health officials are also encouraging hospital clients to report to hospital authorities cases of maltreatment coming from any of the hospital personnel.
Dr. Calumpang said this is the personal advocacy of Gov. Degamo which is to extend the best health services to the clients of NOPH. Earlier, Gov. Degamo already issued a stern warning that he will not hesitate to take action against health personnel found to be maltreating patients. Change in attitude should come along with the changes on the physical appearance and capability of the hospital.
Meanwhile, hospital administrators have allayed fears of the possible increase of the hospital rate as it is now using the state-of-the-art government hospital building.
Dr. Sojor said Gov. Degamo gave a very clear instruction to all of them to maintain a status quo on the hospital rate and to revisit the new rate set in the new revenue code of the province. He added the governor is however amenable to impose the increase of the hospital rate on a gradual basis.
Meanwhile, Obligar said Governor Degamo, through the hospital management, is now trying to address problems on lack of medicines at the NOPH pharmacy.
They believe they can now address such concern since it almost doubled the budget for medicines for the last two years. He said they experienced the insufficiency of medicines last year considering that the hospital was operating on a re-enacted budget from January to October. When the budget was approved in October they were not able to catch up the processing for the purchase of all medicines due to lack of material time.
This time, however, Obligar said they will make sure that what was budgeted will be purchased this year for the hospital.
He revealed that in 2015, the budget for medicine was only 65 million pesos. They proposed for a 120 million peso budget for 2016 but were only allocated a little less than said amount and the same amount was also the approved budget for 2017.
“Hospital operation last year was greatly affected by the delay in the approval of the annual budget and we were operating on a re-enacted budget from January to October using a 65 million budget for medicines for the most part of 2016.” Obligar said. (AYS)
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