100-bed hospital for Bantayan

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014


CEBU’s Fourth District Rep. Benhur Salimbangon filed House Bill 4802 that pushes for the establishment of a 100-bed Bantayan Island National Hospital, which shall be directly supervised by the Department of Health (DOH).

The facility would serve as a tertiary hospital for the entire Bantayan Island.

Salimbangon said Bantayan Island is far from the hospitals in the mainland and that some island residents who need immediate help have died without getting medical services.

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In his explanatory note, Salimbangon said the establishment of the hospital has become necessary because the population of the island composed of the municipalities of Bantayan, Madridejos and Sta. Fe has reached 143,562 based on the 2012 census.

Although there is a district hospital in Bantayan town run by the local government unit (LGU), Salimbangon said it is just a primary health care facility and it cannot perform major surgery during emergencies.

Salimbangon said the Department of Tourism and the tourism industry have also identified Bantayan Island as a tourist destination.

“The influx of more tourists can be seen in its increasing arrivals every year. The lack of a tertiary general hospital as a requirement for a tourist destination has become more imminent to address the medical needs of the entire population of the island and the tourists, both local and foreign,” said Salimbangon.

The congressman added that the nearest hospital to Bantayan Island is the Severo Verallo Memorial Hospital, a primary health care facility, located in Bogo City in mainland Cebu, which can be reached after a one-and-a-half hour trip by boat.

Detrimental

He said the hospitals that offer tertiary services are the ones located in Cebu City, which will take about four hours of travel by land and sea from Bantayan Island.

“This is detrimental to patients in critical condition,” said Salimbangon.

He said that the establishment of a national hospital in Bantayan Island would answer the medical needs of the growing population of the island and the increasing number of tourists per year.

According to Salimbangon’s explanatory note, the resources of the LGUs and their limitations cannot sustain the operation of a major hospital, thus, there is a need for the intervention of the national government.

“Only the national government, through the Department of Health, can effectively run and operate a hospital of this nature and can handle the delivery of the major health services,” said Salimbangon.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 06, 2014.

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