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Escalante, Calatrava Hospitals Lack Medicines, Equipment

Negros Occidental Provincial Consultant for Hospital Operations Mariano Antonio E. Cui III said the district hospitals in Calatrava town and Escalante City can only accept patients with minor cases due to lack of medicine and medical equipment.

Cui said the decision to turn over the Calatrava District Hospital in Calatrava and the Vicente Gustilo District Hospital in Escalante City aims “to ensure that both will continue to operate and survive during this critical period”

“Once turned over, the LGUs can hire their own hospital staff, while nurses and other employees under the provincial government will be assigned to the remaining hospitals owned by the province,” he added.

Cui said that both district hospitals are regarded as similar to sugarcane hauling stations (transloading) that when patients are brought there for serious and intensive care, they are immediately referred to either the Teresita Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City or the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City.

“This is due to lack of medical equipment and medicine supplies from their pharmacies,” Cui said.

The transfer of the operations of CDH and the VGDH to the local governments of Calatrava and Escalante will ensure its maximum health services by allowing service providers to man laboratories, x-rays, CT scan, 2D echo and kidney dialysis, Cui added.

“The public can then avail the full benefits of Philhealth as the hospital pharmacies will secure enough medical supplies. Our main goal is to make both 90% operational like any other hospitals”, Cui added.

Cui cited a 2019 report indicating that the 11 hospitals owned by the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental, including CDH and VGDH, suffered about PHP520-million in losses in their operations, compelling the current administration to turn over the operations to the LGUs of Calatrava and Escalante to sustain services.

Based on the turnover agreement, both Calatrava and Escalante will receive 70% subsidy from the provincial government for hospital operations, and the remaining 30% will be paid by the two LGUs.

Cui encouraged Toboso Mayor Richard Jaojoco to meet with Negros Occidental Governor Bong Lacson and discuss queries about the hospital.

“During the time of the late Governor Alfredo Marañon, not a single mayor from Love Negros ever complained about patients being excluded from availing the benefits from these hospitals. Instead, San Carlos City built its own hospital that operates with the same level 2 hospitals,” Cui said.

Earlier, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said that he is prepared to answer a complaint filed against him before President Rodrigo Duterte on the provincial government’s devolution of the management of its two hospitals to the Calatrava and Escalante City governments.

John Chiong,  founder and national commander of Task Force Kasanag, in his complaint sent to the president on December 29, 2020 objected to the turnover that he claimed was done without public consultations.

The turnover of the Calatrava District Hospital and the Vicente Gustilo District Hospital to the two local governments units was approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

“We do not enter into an agreement with LGUs without studying the legal implications,” the governor said.

He further said that the capability of local governments to manage hospitals should not be underestimated, he said, citing Sagay City, San Carlos City and Cauyan town who manage their own hospitals.

“What is important is LGUs will improve their hospitals’ services for their constituents,” Lacson also said.

“Let’s not think of ourselves but the general population who will benefit from the close supervision of hospitals by the LGUs,” he added.

Under the turn over agreement, the provincial government will subsidize 70% of the hospitals’ operations and the LGUs will pay the remaining 30%.

However, as the hospitals begin to earn the subsidy of the provincial government will be decreased, the governor also said. (Dolly Yasa via tdg, photo by tdg)

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