Cebu Provincial Government
Cebu Provincial Government


Cebu Province turns to private sector for aid to improve hospitals

To address various concerns of provincial and district hospitals, the Cebu Provincial Government resorted to calling the private sector for help.

This partnership project with private practitioners is an intervention program meant to make a turn-about in the province’s healthcare system.

Three of these personalities the province called in for help agreed to provide their time and  expertise as P1 a year consultants.

Doctors Rene Catan, orthopedic surgeon, Manuel Villamor, another surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic surgery and Lily Aranas, former DOH 7 regional director support Cebu province’s efforts at bringing about the much needed reforms in Cebu’s provincial and district hospitals and the hospital care system as a whole.

Catan came up with a study in 2013 when he found the weaknesses and strengths in the province’s hospital system. He said the weaknesses should be addressed by Gov. Hilario Davide III’s administration.

Efforts were already in place about the same time Catan began his assessment of the province’s health care.

Balamban now has an operating room and Catan has noted the hospital’s other improvements.

The province scored high in the aspect of hospital distribution as far as the orthopedic doctor is concerned. The 16 hospitals, 12 district and four provincial hospitals are geographically located,

A portion of the study Dr. Catan presented recently also showed inadequate facilities, services, infrastructure, and personnel as among the weaknesses in the health care system.

Davide’s efforts coupled with support from private groups are also noted in the distribution of hospital equipment in Barili, Pinamungajan, Tuburan, and Balamban. Sogod is under rehabilitation and up for expansion. Barili hospital is also for upgrading.

Ambulances have also been distributed to the municipalities and barangays in these places.

According to Jone Siegfred Sepe, officer-in-charge of the Provincial General Services Office and committee chair of Hospital Support Development Committee, outsourced hospital workers before are either employed now as job order employees or on contract directly paid by the Cebu Provincial Government. These are doctors, nurses and non-medical staff.

A training program for hospital chiefs and nurses is in place and for now offered to just this sector of hospital workers.

These are but a few of the reforms the province has put in place in line with Catan’s study.

One of the important reforms now in place is the procurement of medicines and medical supplies. Sepe explained that the Capitol and Don Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center have an arrangement that speeds up medicine and supplies acquisition without going through a number of biddings. At the same time, hospitals can acquire medicines and supplies on emergency basis.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Cynthia Genesolango has also been instrumental in seeing to it that reforms instituted in the provincial and district hospitals are also in compliance with DOH regulations. Provincial Administrator Atty. Mark Tolentino acknowledged how much work is to be done. This is why the Capitol needs the help of Catan, Villamor and Aranas.

The three doctors agreed to take on the hospital system concerns of Cebu province and show a partnership between private and public sector that is beyond question.

With this tie-up, the Capitol hopes that they can entice more doctors to join government service. Genesolango said that the current ratio is four doctors for every hospital and that more doctors are needed.

Hence, Davide is determined to fulfill his health agenda.