VSMMC asks for P8M more

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

THE Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) is asking the National Government to give them an P8-million additional allocation to address the increasing number of patients.

Dr. Gerardo Aquino, VSMMC medical chief, told Sun.Star Cebu that they are seeking an additional allocation from the Department of Health (DOH) after they started admitting patients following the partial closure of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), whose building was declared unsafe following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last Oct. 15, 2013.

Last month, super typhoon Yolanda also hit Northern Cebu and ravaged a majority of areas in Eastern Visayas.

Aquino said the addition will help replenish their resources, which have been used for patients affected by the calamities.

He said the VSMMC gave out P3 million to the DOH regional office as financial aid to affected government medical facilities in Eastern Visayas.

Aquino said the DOH assured them of the aid.


Aquino said that before the three incidents, VSMMC accepted an average of 900 patients a day.

As of yesterday, VSMMC received an average 1,136 patients per day, Aquino said. VSMMC only has an 800-bed capacity.

Aside from its usual patient load, Aquino said the VSMMC also accepted 300 patients from Tacloban and other Eastern Visayas areas that were hit by Typhoon Yolanda.

Out of the 300 patients, 109 of them were admitted at the VSMMC due to typhoon-related injuries and ailments. Out of the 109 admitted patients, three were declared dead.

The rest of the patients only availed themselves of outpatient services, Aquino said.

Aside from typhoon victims from Eastern Visayas, 68 patients from Northern Cebu were also brought to VSMMC for typhoon-related injuries.

Aquino said DOH Sec. Enrique Ona issued an order for them to accept the patients free of charge.

He said that after the partial closure of CCMC, they’ve also started accepting patients from Cebu City as well.

With patients from Cebu City, admissions from Eastern Visayas and Northern Cebu and their usual patient load, Aquino admitted that the services of VSMMC, particularly its manpower, have been overstretched.

Aquino said their OB-GYN (OB) ward alone has 200 patients cramped in 35 beds.

But they were able to avoid patient pile-ups in the hospital by improving their discharge rates daily, especially for patients whose ailments are manageable.

Turned over

For calamity victims admitted in VSMMC, Aquino said patients who have no relatives are turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Aquino said they have to maximize much of their available resources even though their facilities were affected by the recent earthquake and typhoon.

He said some of their wards were affected by the earthquake. But they were eventually repaired and retrofitted.

Aquino said their staff have extended their workloads.

He is also appealing to the public for understanding while he and his staff are working hard to accommodate all their patients.

“Our doctors are working beyond the call of duty just to accommodate everybody. We are also trying our best that our stocks, such as on medicines, are available,” Aquino added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 12, 2013.

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