DOH pins hope on UC’s new medical center-A A +A
Sunday, March 10, 2013
A MEDICAL center that will cater to the lower and middle class will soon rise in Mandaue City.
The University of Cebu (UC) Medical Center will be built on a 1.5-hectare property on Ouano Ave., Mandaue Reclamation Area, Barangay Subangdaku.
With 300 beds, the facility will help decongest public hospitals in Cebu, said Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Teddy Herbosa, who visited the site last Saturday.
“The hospital bed-to-population ratio in the Philippines is very low. We can see that our public hospitals are full to the brim so when the private sector tells us they want to build big hospitals, like the UC Medical Center, we are happy,” Herbosa told Sun.Star Cebu.
UC president Atty. Augusto Go said the medical center will provide affordable quality health care.
“We would like to build a hospital that will cater to the middle class, like what we are doing with UC,” he said in an interview.
The university has set aside an initial investment of P2 billion to build the hospital.
Dr. Joselito Almendras, medical director, said the UC Medical Center will be operational within two years. The ceremonial laying of cornerstone will be held today.
“We’re starting with a 300-bed hospital. It’s a medical center complete with all the amenities that you will expect to find in a medical center,” Almendras said.
The hospital will have the same bed capacity as the Cebu City Medical Center.
The amenities of the UC Medical Center will include a cardiovascular center, a center for minimally invasive surgery and a center for women.
Almendras said the hospital will cater to people not only in Cebu, but in the whole Visayas and Mindanao.
The hospital, which will have a five-story podium and a 12-story tower, will sit in a strategic location. It is near the port and the soon-to-rise headquarters of the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation in Mandaue.
The Chong Hua Hospital will also open a new hospital and cancer center in the Mandaue Reclamation Area.
Almendras said the opening of the UC Medical Center will generate jobs, especially for nurses and doctors.
He said the university plans to open a college of medicine two years from now.
Medicine students will be trained at the hospital in their senior year.
“Another thing that is good about this is that it is a university hospital. A university hospital is of higher quality than a regular general hospital,” Herbosa
In university hospitals, teachers and students of medicine are able to practice what they teach and learn, resulting in better health care services.
Herbosa said the government needs the help of the private sector in providing universal health care.
“If the private sector is the one to invest billions of pesos to build hospitals, that relieves the government. At least, we can use government money to build schools, roads or airports, instead of hospitals,” he said.
Herbosa said a large chunk of government funds for health care goes to efforts to enroll the poor in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.
Ideally, there should be 15 hospital beds for every 10,000 people, Herbosa said. But the existing ratio in the Philippines is five beds per 10,000 people.
He said the DOH also plans to expand the capacity of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, a government-operated tertiary facility in Cebu City, to 1,000 beds.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 11, 2013.