2 Cebu hospitals found unsafe after quake-A A +A
Friday, October 18, 2013
CEBU -- After serving patients for five decades, the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) along N. Bacalso Avenue may be demolished by the City Government as a result of last Tuesday’s earthquake.
In Mandaue City, a private hospital was ordered closed after it was found structurally unsafe.
The closure of these two hospitals will mean about 350 beds less for the sick in Metro Cebu. Mayor Michael Rama, however, said he would like the City to build a bigger and more modern hospital on the same site.
Several hospitals in Cebu evacuated their patients right after the quake that struck at 8:12 a.m. last October 15, as a precaution against aftershocks that kept Cebu and Bohol residents on edge.
Rama announced the CCMC demolition plan in City Hall’s command center on Thursday upon the suggestion of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Rama, Binay and the Vice President’s daughter, Senator Nancy Binay, inspected the 300-bed CCMC Thursday morning.
The mayor said huge cracks can be seen on the hospital’s walls and ceilings and that some of its columns have already separated. CCMC was founded in April 1961 yet.
“It is very dangerous. We cannot allow it to continue to be there. The situation is so critical,” he said.
“So the Vice President said to me, ‘Mike, why don’t you demolish it and build a new one’?” he added.
In Mandaue City, an official reported there were 48 patients in the Dr. Ignacio M. Cortes General Hospital when the earthquake occurred.
Angie Amaquin, the hospital’s administrative officer, said all patients were brought down. Five were transferred to other hospitals while the rest were advised to go home.
The 60-bed hospital is located on S.B. Cabahug St.
“We are not accepting patients right now, but we will have a temporary office across the hospital,” she said. Amaquin said they will only offer out-patient services.
Mayor Jonas Cortes said the four other hospitals in Mandaue City remain structurally sound.
These are the City Hospital, Eversley Childs Sanitarium, AMOSUP Seamen’s Hospital and the Vicente Gullas Medical Center.
Cortes said the architectural consultant of Dr. Ignacio Cortes General Hospital recommended its closure.
In CCMC’s case, the City Government set aside P21.2 million in its Annual Investment Plan for 2009 to repair the CCMC, starting with its drainage system, water pipes, restrooms and façade.
The mayor had lamented then that the hospital was in poor condition and needed fixing.
After Tuesday’s quake, the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) planned some retrofitting works.
DEPW declared the hospital unsafe for occupancy after an inspection they conducted following the earthquake, but only recommended remedial works.
DEPW Engr. Kenneth Enriquez told Sun.Star Cebu that plans were already being prepared for the retrofitting works, which were estimated to last for 45 days and cost the City P8 million to P10 million.
Following the mayor’s announcement of the demolition, however, Enriquez said they will just have to heed his order.
In a news conference on Thursday, Rama said CCMC’s demolition will have to be done as soon as possible. He already instructed DEPW to cordon the area.
But the mayor made it clear that the hospital’s operation will be not stop.
A temporary hospital, he said, will be established in the area across CCMC, particularly where the office of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) stands.
The more than 100 patients admitted at the CCMC were evacuated there following the earthquake.
BFP’s chapel houses the newborn babies while their parking area and the sports complex houses all the other patients.
Rama has already ordered the patients of CCMC, particularly those who are in critical condition, to be transferred to the other local hospitals.
CCMC chief Dr. Gloria Duterte said that since their building will be demolished, they will only cater to outpatients.
As to the operations of the BFP, Rama said their regional office will be temporarily transferred to the Cebu City Sports Complex, while the Cebu City office will be in the Parian Fire Station.
City Fire Marshal Vonrad Dubluis, when sought for comment, said it is okay with them if they will be transferred, saying they want to help CCMC.
Asked if the City has funds build a new hospital, the mayor said he will tap the help of the private sector. He added that the Vice President vowed to help the City in rebuilding the hospital and will bring the matter in the next Cabinet meeting.
In the City Council’s regular session Thursday, Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos asked the members of the council to help the executive department in the construction of a new hospital by approving funds for the project.
“Let us breathe life back to CCMC. Let us not wait for nature to growl once more for us to realize that what we ought to have done should have been done the soonest,” she said. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 18, 2013.