New hospital-A A +A
Sunday, January 13, 2013
A MORE modern and efficient public hospital will rise across the CAP Building on Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City.
The Department of Health (DOH) announced that it would spend P5 billion to build the 10-story Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) Twin Tower Building.
Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., VSMMC director, said the DOH wanted to build a 20-story building but it’s too expensive.
Aquino said the funding will come from proceeds of sin taxes.
“Our aim is to make the VSMMC at par with private hospitals even if we are a government institution,” he said.
Aquino said that when the tower was conceptualized, the DOH thought of building it at the South Road Properties (SRP).
However, he said the idea was nixed because the SRP is next to the water and is prone to a tsunami.
“A hospital must be far from any possibility of calamity because it is support to cater to victims of calamities,” Aquino said.
The VSMMC will celebrate its centenary today.
He said VSMMC was built on Jan. 13, 1913 as the Southern Islands Hospital.
From the original 30-bed capacity, it now has 800 beds.
Aquino said he hopes the bill increasing the hospital’s bed capacity to 1,200 will be passed by the House of Representatives.
He denied reports that the VSMMC turns away patients who are referred to it by the Cebu City Medical Center.
“Thirty to 35 percent of our patients are coming from Cebu City and we cater to patients from as far as Mindanao. We don’t turn down a patient because every illness is an emergency case. We want to save every life that seeks medical attention at the Vicente Sotto,” he said.
Aquino, however, admitted that the VSMMC is undermanned.
“We hired job orders. It so happened that we have an overcrowded emergency room because we cannot say ‘no’ or ‘we are already close’ to incoming patients,” Aquino said.
He said this is the reason they have to separate trauma and non-trauma patients.
As a result, he said the hospital is effective in responding to and treating victims of vehicular accidents from outside the metro.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 13, 2013.