Eastern Visayans are used to sleeping and resting on banigs, which is just fine when they’re at home, in the farm or going to picnics – that is, wherever they lay their banigs they consider home.
But the versatile banig is, alas, not sterile. You can’t be treated at a hospital and still insist on having your trusted wovan mat with you. Doctors and other medical staff would surely disallow you to bring them inside the thoroughly sanitized facility as they may introduce insects, allergens, germs, and viruses that could threaten other patients.
Thus, government institutions catering to the medical and health needs of citizens must at least provide decent beds while they are getting treatment for injuries and diseases from both natural and man-made calamities.
Of course, private hospitals in the region can provide the same service with probably better facilities but only at a price beyond the reach of ordinary residents.
The provision of adequate hospital beds to needy patients should be not considered an additional imposition on state medical facilities already ham-strung by tight budgets and skyrocketing operating costs.
It is, as a matter of fact, a minimum compliance with internationally accepted health-service standards, especially for areas devastated by near-apocalyptic monster typhoon like Yolanda, which flattened Leyte and adjoining provinces.
And the most compelling part of this story is that the frontline government agency itself is the one acknolewdging the patient-hospital bed gap in the region.[pq]Thus, the Department of Health said Eastern Visayas still needs additional 1,500 hospital beds for its 4.2 million population…[/pq]
…“to conform to global standards of one hospital bed per 1,000 population”.
The government is optimistic of closing the gap in a few years with the construction of new state-run and privately-owned health facilities.
“It’s not only the government that is offering health care services, private hospitals are also taking the lead,” said DoH Regional director Jose R. Lacuna.
Records of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. showed that that region has a combined hospital bed capacity of 2,700, or 1,500 less than the World Health Organization standard for a region with a population of 4.2 million.
Health-care service gaps have been blamed as one of the causes of deaths in the region. For instance…[pq]…92 mothers died per 100,000 live births, 40 percent of infant do not survive after birth, and 24 percent of tuberculosis patients succumbed.[/pq]
The construction and expansion of new private hospitals such as Ormoc Doctors Hospital in western Leyte and Catarman Doctors Hospital in Northern Samar are expected to fill in the gap, according to DoH.
The major project that would raise the quality of healthcare service is the P2-billion modernization of new Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC).
The existing EVRMC, badly damaged by storm surges, has only 325 bed capacity.
The poorly equipped state-run regional hospital has been recording seven-percent mortality rate. The new facility aims to bring down the hospital mortality rate to just four percent.
The project would transfer the entire facility to a new site in Cabalawan village. It would double the current bed capacity, modernize equipment, and enhance the skills of medical staff.
Construction is expected to start in October this year and would be completed June 2016.
– DFF, Medical Observer