Zambales hospital gets major upgrade worth P50 million

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

IBA, Zambales -- Some P50 million worth of modern medical equipment will be installed at the Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Hospital for its upgrading.

Zambales Governor Jun Ebdane signed Monday a memorandum of agreement for a joint venture project between the Zambales Provincial Government and High Integrated Medical Engineering Exponent (HIMEX) Corporation Inc., which will supply and maintain modern medical equipment like a CT-Scan, ultrasound and X-Ray machines at the provincial hospital.

The P50-million project will also include the construction and renovation of rooms where the machine will be installed.

Despite the huge amount, Ebdane said that the Provincial Government will not be shelling out a single peso. HIMEX would install the systems in exchange for 50 percent of the service charge for the use of the machine.

“It has been my goal to be able to establish in my province a fully-subsidized health care system, and this signals the beginning of the realization of that dream,” Ebdane said

“Before this, our constituents had to travel to other cities or provinces if they needed to have a CT-scan or X-ray or ultrasound, or they went to private hospitals which charged huge fees,” Ebdane lamented.

Dr. Raulin Dadural, who heads the Zambales Provincial Health Office, said that before this project, the provincial hospital had somewhat lagged in terms of modern medical facilities due to lack of adequate funds to procure state-of-the-art equipment.

Ebdane said the joint venture project with HIMEX has opened opportunities for the province to upgrade its medical and hospitalization services on a shared- income arrangement.

“Now, Zambaleños will have access to modern medical services at lower cost,” Ebdane said.

Under the agreement, HIMEX will supply, deliver, install, commission and maintain one Hitachi Multi-Slice CT Scan Machine worth P35 million; one Hitachi Ultrasound Machine with Elastography worth P8.7 million; and one Hitachi Conventional X-Ray machine worth P6.5 million.

Ebdane explained the equipment will be available to patients at a minimal fee – much lower than what other hospitals and health care facilities charge.

Ebdane also revealed that his office, along with the Provincial Health Office and other concerned departments, is preparing a scheme to further subsidize the cost of medical services for indigent residents in the province.

“PhilHealth cardholders can readily use their privileges. But because the policy of PhilHealth is to reimburse expenses, we are looking into creating a system that would further ease our kababayans from the high-cost of medication and hospitalization,” Ebdane said.

He explained that a revolving fund could be set aside to advance payments for hospital bills, and the subsequent reimbursements from PhilHealth will go back to the revolving fund. (Anthony Bayarong of Sun.Star Pampanga)

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