CCMC to reopen next week-A A +A
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
FROM a 300-bed hospital, the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) will have only 60 beds when it starts accepting patients for admission next week at its temporary facility at the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) building on N. Bacalso Ave.
Patients who cannot be accommodated at the BFP building will have to be referred to the barangay health centers, the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) or private hospitals using the City Government’s cash assistance, said CCMC Chief Dr. Gloria Duterte.
As they deal with the limited space and the poor condition of their facilities, hospital officials face yet another threat, this time the disconnection of their power and water supply.
In an Oct. 25 letter to City Hall, BFP 7 Director Ma. Luisa Hadjula said CCMC should secure separate water and power meters as the BFP does not want to shoulder the hospital’s utility bills.
Hadjula said in her one-page letter that the existing water and power connection to the BFP building will be cut off on Friday.
BFP 7 continues to occupy some rooms in the building. Its officials told City Hall earlier that they will not surrender the entire building to the City Government.
Duterte said CCMC has addressed the matter. “We already talked to BFP's electrical engineer and we have agreed that we will pay for our own consumption and they will pay for theirs,” she added.
BFP personnel removed electrical switches, outlets, fuse boxes, toilet bowls, sinks, lights and other fixtures in rooms that the agency gave up for the city hospital.
Despite this, Duterte said they hope to finish setting up the wards after the holidays next week and start accepting patients for admission soon after.
For now, only emergency cases are accepted at the CCMC.
Only the emergency room and out-patient department have been operating since Oct. 15, when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake damaged the CCMC building, located across the BFP building, and forced its staff ad patients to evacuate.
The building has been condemned since then due to structural defects.
“Our challenge now is to maintain our level three accreditation as a training hospital…and of course, to be able to give the best possible medical care to our patients, despite the circumstances,” Duterte told Sun.Star Cebu.
Because there is limited space, hospital equipment cannot be set up yet.
Hospital beds are also in open-air areas on the ground floor of the BFP building.
At the makeshift operating room where emergency cases are treated, thin curtains give the patients a semblance of privacy.
There are only four toilets available for the patients, their watchers, doctors and hospital staff, since the BFP removed the toilet bowls and sinks from the rest rooms on the second floor.
“It’s really not a proper hospital setting but we are doing our best to give our patients the hospital services that they need. Our services are affected by the circumstances but we are doing everything we can to help the patients,” said Dr. Ryan Cabahug, a CCMC medical officer.
To fast track the setting up of the wards, nurses and other hospital staff have been helping the maintenance department in doing carpentry and paint work.
The wards for pediatrics, obstetrics and surgery will each have 10 beds, while the medical ward will have 15 beds.
The intensive care unit will have two beds while the surgical intensive care unit will have only one bed.
Cabahug said that even if other patients will not be accommodated for admission, they can still avail themselves of free hospital services like laboratory tests and x-ray.
Yesterday, 72-year-old Loreta Taneza, who was suffering from asthma, occupied one of the beds in the open-air area of the BFP building that used to house firetrucks.
She and her watchers did not mind the situation in the facility, despite the limited space.
Her daughter-in-law, Norvena, appealed to Cebu City officials to fast track the construction of a new hospital so it can accommodate more patients.
“This situation should not be allowed to continue for long. This place will become chaotic when more patients arrive. They should build a new hospital fast because indigent patients like us have nowhere to go,” she said in Cebuano.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 30, 2013.