Rama says he wants Cebu City hospital to have 1,000 beds, from 300 at present-A A +A
Monday, October 21, 2013
THE Cebu City Government will need P1 billion to P1.5 billion to build a new, bigger and more modern Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) on N. Bacalso Ave., said Mayor Michael Rama yesterday.
Rama said he wants the new hospital to be a 1,000-bed facility. The current CCMC building has only 300 beds and is sometimes overcrowded, with some patients having to share beds.
Considering the huge amount needed, Rama said he will ask for the help of the National Government, the private sector and the City’s sister-cities for the project.
Rama said in a news conference yesterday he already received several letters from sister-cities like Kaohsiung in Taiwan and Xiamen in China, asking him how they can help Cebu City following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake last Tuesday.
“I will tell them that they can help in the rebuilding of the CCMC,” he said.
Hospital workers moved patients out of the building right after the quake struck at 8:12 a.m. last Oct. 15. They have not been able to return since then, after the mayor ordered the building to be torn down. An inspection showed it was no longer safe for occupancy.
The mayor said he hopes other establishments will follow the lead of SM Prime Holdings Inc., which donated P5 million to the City and another P5 million to Cebu Province last Friday.
The City may also seek the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in rebuilding the City-owned and operated hospital, which has served indigent patients for five decades now.
In 2011, the management of CCMC had requested Jica for a US$10-million grant or about P430 million during that time’s exchange rate. The amount was supposed to be used to build a six-storey building across or adjacent to where CCMC is now.
However, Jica deferred CCMC’s request as Japan was still suffering then from the damage caused by an earthquake and a tsunami.
As for the City, Rama said a budget will be set aside for the new hospital project. Asked if the City has enough funds for that, the mayor pointed to real properties the City can sell.
Mayor Rama has wanted to sell portions of the 300-hectare South Road Properties to fund several projects of the City since his first term began in July 2010. He has yet to gain the council majority’s support on this.
Rama said the CCMC building’s demolition should be as soon as possible.
In a related development, the mayor said he is not willing to compromise with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 7 on the use of its building as the temporary CCMC hospital.
Rama has ordered them to transfer to the Cebu City Sports Center but BFP’s national headquarters directed its regional office staff to stay put. The BFP reports to the Department of Interior and Local Government.
“We are under a state of calamity. They should help,” the mayor said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 21, 2013.