PHO chief eyes Level 2 category for hospitals 

The Provincial Health Office (PHO) is optimistic that it can bring two of the four provincial hospitals to attain Level 2 category next year as initial steps in making health services at par with private facilities.

In an interview, PHO Chief Dr. Rene Catan said the provincial hospitals in the cities of Carcar and Danao were eyed for a Level 2 accreditation. Under Level 2 category, a healthcare facility must have doctors for internal medicine and advance amenities and services for OB-Gyne and anesthesiology.

Level 2 standards also require machines for computed tomography (CT) ccan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment.

The health chief disclosed that he wanted all four provincial hospitals to become a level 2 or level 3 after three years, but would need P2.5 billion to achieve this goal.

“We can understand na dili man gyud na mahatag dayon, so we will just concentrate our efforts first on two key hospitals in Carcar (City) and Danao (City),” said Catan.

The other two provincial hospitals are located in Bogo City and Balamban town.

Catan shared that he proposed a P200 million capital outlay intended for the improvement of hospital facilities for PHO 2017 budget but was informed that he might only get P133 million instead.

Despite this setback, the health office remains hopeful that they can raise the remaining P77 million through the assistance of some senators who offered help to the province, he said.

According to Catan, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Koko Pimental and Loren Legarda offered to help generate funds for the hospitals.

PHO also plans to tap the Department of Health and non-government organizations for the needed funding.

Catan said he will seek a 10 percent increase from its 2016 allocation to be added to the next year’s budget.

The province has allocated P433 million budget for this year. Improving health services were among the top agenda of Governor Hilario P. Davide III.

Meanwhile, 7th District Provincial Board member Christopher Baricuatro told reporters that the legislative body would support PHO’s programs all the way, ensuring that the department’s proposal for healthcare would be approved without cuts.

Kung unsa ila i-propose na budget atong paningkamotan na dili ma kuha-an,” he said.

Asked if the province had the ability to shoulder the whopping P2.5 billion-hospital upgrade for the next three years, Baricuatro replied “mora’g kaya ra.”

While PHO’s main focus is on the upgrading of provincial hospitals, Baricuatro, the chairman of the committee on public health, assured that the 12 district hospitals would continue to get enough support. (Kelvin Canizares)